Covid-19 vaccination begins in Armenia
Vaccination against coronavirus infection has begun in Armenia. Starting from April 13, residents of Yerevan will be able to get vaccinated and from April 14 vaccination will become available in the regions. Now the country is distributing vaccines to clinics, announced Health Minister of Armenia Anahit Avanesyan.
Anahit Avanesyan said that everyone who wants to get vaccinated will be provided with full information about the AstraZeneca and Sputnik vaccines that are currently available in the country, and each individual recipient will be able to choose between the two.
However, the minister of health of Armenia noted that on April 13th, the vaccination will be carried out using AstraZeneca, as it arrived earlier than Sputnik V, which, in turn, will also be available a few days after the launching of the vaccination program.
24,000 doses of the Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine and 15,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V have already been delivered to Armenia.
Previously, only high-risk health workers – those who treat to patients infected with COVID-19 were eligible for vaccination. Thus, Russia provided Armenia with 2,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine enough for the vaccination of 1,000 people free of charge.
Russian Ambassador to Armenia Sergei Kopyrkin said on April 12 that the supply of the Russian vaccine to Armenia will continue.
The first confirmed case of coronavirus infection in Armenia was registered on March 1, 2020. Between March 16 to September 11, 2020 the country declared a state of emergency. A nationwide quarantine has also been introduced, and it is expected to last until July 11, 2021. Over the last 24 hours, 510 new cases of COVID-19 have been registered. In total, there are now 203,327 people infected with COVID-19 in the country, 182, 836 recovered and 3,753 died.
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Armenia’s vaccination programme
The Armenian Ministry of Health is planning to vaccinate 700,000 thousand people, and the priority is given to the high-risk groups. However, vaccination in Armenia is voluntary, and so far only 600 people have registered to get vaccinated.
The issue of vaccination remains highly relevant in Armenia as the country is struggling to counter the spread of COVID-19, says Armenian Minister of Health, Anahit Avanesyan:
“For many patients, the disease is very severe. […] Vaccination will be carried out, firstly, on applications from high-risk groups, and the medical personnel of the country;s clinics will be asked to inform individuals of their eligibility for vaccination. If there are more registered citizens than vaccine doses, the registration will continue, and as new supplies are received, the vaccination will continue for a year”.
The special working group of the Ministry of Health has already decided that AstraZeneca will be administered to people aged over 55 years old while Sputnik V will be administered to those under 54 years old.
About the vaccines
On April 8, the first purchased batch of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine was delivered to Armenia.
On March 28, 24,000 doses of the Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine were also delivered to Yerevan.
At the moment, AstraZeneca is one of the most popular COVID-19 vaccines in the world, and it has already been admitted in 49 countries. Sputnik V is the second most popular vaccine, approved in 45 countries.
Armenia continues negotiations on obtaining vaccines via the COVAX platform – an international platform that aims to make vaccines available in low- and middle-income countries. Armenia received doses of AstraZeneca under this program, and it is now negotiating the purchase of a batch of the American Novavax vaccine.
In addition, the Armenian minister of health said that there is a preliminary agreement with the Chinese government for the donor supply of a batch of Sinovac vaccine.
“There will be a variety of vaccine alternatives”, Minister of Health, Anahit Avanesyan reassures the public.
Earlier, the head of the Center for Disease Control of China Gao Fu said that the coronavirus vaccines developed in China demonstrated low efficiency. During clinical trials in Brazil, it was established that the effectiveness of the vaccine produced by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd. only reached 50.4%.
In comparison, the Russian and Western vaccines demonstrated an effectiveness rate exceeding 90%.