Georgian Orthodox Church refuses to join pro-vaccination campaign
The Georgian Orthodox Church has declined an invite from the government to assist in the pro-vaccination campaign in the country.
Only 1,375 people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus in Georgia since the start of innoculation on March 15, and this is very few, Amiran Gamkrelidze, head of the Georgian National Center for Disease Control, told reporters.
To overcome the widespread mistrust in society, he appealed to the Holy Synod and priests to support the vaccination process.
“In Georgia, people often trust clergy more than doctors, so the role of church representatives is especially important,” Gamkrelidze admitted.
The attitude of the Georgian Orthodox Church towards the coronavirus pandemic is complex and has caused much public controversy.
The spring of 2020 was the most difficult period, when the number of coronavirus infections increased every day; the authorities introduced tough measures, but the church refused to shut its doors.
Vaccination in Georgia started on March 15.
The country received the first shipment of 43,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through the international COVAX platform. The vaccine manufacturer is the South Korean company AstraZeneca-SKBio.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) helped the Georgian government in purchasing the vaccine. Vaccinations are given in 82 medical institutions.