Vaccination in Azerbaijan may become compulsory
The Azerbaijani parliament made a proposal to make the vaccination against the coronavirus compulsory in the country. The MPs came to this conclusion after assessing the progress of the vaccination program which showed that people are still very reluctant to get vaccinated. On some days, the number of vaccinated people barely reaches a thousand.
- New restrictions on Easter in Georgia: cemetery roads closed, public transport suspended
- Heads of Baku Covid hospitals arrested for bribery
- To Sputnik V or to AstraZeneca? Armenia gets new batches of Covid vaccines amidst public skepticism
“Yesterday I read in the press that only 365 people were vaccinated per day. Of these, only three people were vaccinated with the second dose of the vaccine. Why so few? Is it the vaccine shortage or are people just reluctant to be vaccinated?”, asked MP Gudrat Hasanguliyev during the session of the Azerbaijani parliament.
In his opinion, the age limit for vaccinated citizens should be reduced:
“If we made the right decisions in time. the situation could have been different”, he added.
Ahliman Amiraslanov, chairman of the parliamentary health committee and former rector of the Azerbaijan Medical University, answered MP Hasanguliyev’s question. He said that there is no shortage of vaccines in the country:
“Very few people voluntarily go through the vaccination procedure. If this continues, we will be forced to lower the minimum vaccination age”.
MP Fazail Agamaly made a radical proposal:
“We need to make the process compulsory. At the same time, it is necessary to intensify educational work. People should be interested in vaccination”, the parliamentarian said.
Amiraslanov, in response to a proposal for compulsory vaccination, stressed that there is no such practice in any country in the world.
The state of vaccination in Azerbaijan
The vaccination process in Azerbaijan began on January 18, 2021, using the Chinese Sinovac vaccine. The country’s authorities reported that a contract has been signed for the supply of 8 million doses of the vaccine which will be enough to vaccinate 4 million people or 40% of the population of Azerbaijan.
To date, 1, 423,660 doses of the vaccine have been administered throughout the country. A total of 939,460 people have been vaccinated with the first shot of vaccine while 484,200 people have already received the second shot.
Based on these statistics, about half a million citizens of the country have fully completed the vaccination process making up for a total of 5% of the total population.
Dr. Azer Islamov believes that the vaccination process can be easily made both voluntary and compulsory at the same time.
“There is a wonderful precedent set by Israel. For the first time in the past ten months, not a single death from coronavirus has been recorded in this friendly country. How did they manage to achieve it?
In Israel, vaccination is both voluntary and compulsory. They have introduced special ‘green passports’, without which you can hardly go anywhere. No restaurant, theater, stadium, or any other place where a large crowd of people gathers will let a person inside without this document – and it is only issued to those who have already been vaccinated”, Islamov explained in an interview with a JAMnews correspondent.
“As for vaccinating the people who are reluctant to go through with it, it is worth recalling one well-known proverb: a fool wants his cloak on a rainy day. This is the usual type of thinking: I am alive, I am feeling well, therefore I do not need a vaccine”, the expert added.
Social media reaction
Vaccination is a highly discussed topic on the Azerbaijani segment of social media. Here are some of the most typical comments:
“When it comes to vaccination, perhaps we are the only people who are so indifferent to everything that we do not care neither about ourselves nor about the others”.
“I don’t understand those who don’t trust the vaccine just because it is Chinese. The virus itself is not European either”.
“The main thing is not the vaccination itself, but the formation of antibodies in the body after vaccination. Soon we will hopefully find out how effective this Chinese vaccine is”.