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Lukashenko: Every person in Belarus will have access to vaccines

MINSK (BelTA) – Every person in Belarus will have access to vaccines, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the meeting held on 22 December to discuss the development of virus vaccines and the localization of production of foreign vaccines, BelTA has learned.

According to the head of state, Belarus can do large-scale vaccination against COVID-19 in two ways. The first one is to produce its own vaccines. “We have scientists, projects, schools – we should work on that. I want you tell me about the prospects because we cannot waste money. Therefore, we will work on Belarusian vaccines,” the president said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the production of immunological medicines of such level is a brand-new task for Belarus. “There is a certain potential in the Healthcare Ministry, and in the Academy of Sciences. I am told that leading researchers and scientists in virology, immunology, genetics, cellular engineering are already working on that,” the head of state said.

In order to choose the most widespread strain of the virus for the production of the vaccine, scientists have studied the genetic variety of its strains. Three possible technologies of getting a vaccine prototype are being developed. The immunity dynamics in patients after the coronavirus pneumonia and the aspects of preserving the immune response are being analyzed.

It will help choose a major “target” for the production of the Belarusian vaccine, the president said. Researchers are also working on the technological process and are looking for the suppliers of equipment.

The second approach is to localize the production of foreign vaccines. Aleksandr Lukashenko asked about the state of affairs in this field – the terms, volumes, sources of financing, prospects, and the future of the joint project of Belfarmprom and Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

“However, whether or not we launch the production of the vaccine within a reasonable period of time, I want the society to know that the country will have enough vaccines, and that every person in Belarus will have access to them,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the president, the most vulnerable population groups will be vaccinated in the first instance. These include elderly people, doctors, teachers, trade workers. “We will always find funds for that, we must do it,” he stressed.