Vaccination in Azerbaijan: what is the public dissatisfied with?
Vaccination process in Azerbaijan
It has been two and a half months since vaccination against coronavirus has been carried out in Azerbaijan.
More than half a million people have been vaccinated so far. But public opinion on vaccination is still mixed; there are those who are dubious about the process, but there are those who are in favor of vaccination and yet dissatisfied with the organization of the process.
Others still say the opposite: in their opinion, everything is going well.
The Sinovac vaccine produced in China is being used in Azerbaijan. According to official data, a contract has been signed for the supply of 4 million doses of the vaccine, enough to vaccinate just two million people in the country of 10 million.
Who is getting vaccinated?
Currently, the fourth stage of the vaccination process is being carried out in Azerbaijan. The procedure itself is free and completely voluntary.
During the first stage, which started on January 18, 2021, doctors and law enforcement officers involved in monitoring compliance with the conditions of the quarantine regime were vaccinated.
The second stage covered people over 65, the third – over 50, and the current fourth – over 40.
How is the vaccination procedure carried out?
Any citizen belonging to one of the above categories can enter a specially created site, where he chooses the place, date and exact time of vaccination.
At the same time, it is not necessary to choose the medical institution to which the resident is attached at the place of residence.
Citizens themselves set the time and date for the first dose of the vaccine, and the date and time for the introduction of the second dose is determined automatically and the person receives an SMS notification to their phone number.
How the vaccine is administered
The actual vaccination procedure itself was described in detail by one of the JAMnews employees on his Facebook page:
“Today I was vaccinated at the clinic (first dose).
“Everything was very normal, civilized and without any queue (I took an appointment in advance).
“I entered the building of the clinic and after disinfecting my hands and having my temperature measured, I was sent to the examination room. They measured my blood pressure, asked about allergic reactions and chronic diseases. I was then sent to the check-in room where my name was added to the system. After all this, I went into the injection room, and I was injected intramuscularly with the vaccine. Before that, in front of my eyes, they took out an ampoule from a special box, filled its contents into a disposable syringe.
After the injection, I was asked to wait half an hour to make sure there was no allergic reaction after the vaccine. After waiting 30 minutes, I went home.”
Queues and the ‘unknown’ vaccine
But not all polyclinics are so smooth. Journalist Naila Balaeva described a story that happened to her and her husband when they went to the local clinic for vaccinations.
According to the journalist, despite the fact that they chose a specific time for the procedure, they had to stand in a “live queue” at the clinic.
“Following the instructions of the headquarters, we set the vaccination time for ourselves. But when we came to the clinic, they saw that the corridors were full of people. When we turned to the woman standing at the door, we were given crumpled pieces of paper with a number indicating our turn – 48 and 49. And they added that regardless of registration on the site, there is a queue here,“ Balayeva writes.
The journalist also noted that the vial with the vaccine was not opened with her, and she did not even see how it was drawn into a syringe: “I asked about it, but they answered in my face that I was lying, the vaccine was opened in my presence. In short, I never found out what they injected me – the vaccine, or plain water, I’m not even sure whether they used this syringe before me.”
Balaeva added that no one paid attention to her complaint to the management of the medical institution.
One ampoule of vaccine for two?
The well-known journalist Aynur Elgunesh posted a warning from doctors who wished to remain anonymous on her page on the social network.
“I would like to convey to you the warning of those who cannot speak themselves out of fear of losing their jobs.
According to them, the first stage of vaccination was carried out according to all the rules, i.e. doctors and others were given the full dose. And now polyclinics do not receive the required amount of vaccine and they are told to get by without it. Therefore, one dose of the vaccine is divided in half and given to two people. There were even cases when doctors directly asked people whether they needed the vaccine itself or just a certificate that they had been vaccinated,” Elgunesh wrote on her Facebook page.
According to her, doctors say that some of the vaccines are given to private clinics, and for this reason there is a shortage of vaccines.
“Of course, we will not be able to fight this flock of the fallen. But let’s try. For example, demand that the vial be opened in front of you,” the journalist recommended.