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Belarusians to opt in for coronavirus vaccination

MINSK (BelTA) – Citizens will have to volunteer for the forthcoming coronavirus vaccination. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he visited the Minsk Children's Infectious Diseases Hospital on 25 December, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko explained that plans had been made to use several vaccines from different manufacturers for vaccination in Belarus. “We intend to get 1.2 million people vaccinated. How many will be vaccinated in the end depends on you. Maybe 2 million. It depends on whether people will go for it. If they want to get vaccinated, we will give them an opportunity to do it. We intend to offer a selection of vaccines,” he noted.

The Russian vaccine Belarus intends to buy and also manufacture locally will be used first. The ability to get vaccinated using vaccines from other countries and other producers will be offered later on. It will help determine which vaccine is most effective. “So that you don't criticize us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked. “Nobody knows which vaccine is the best one at present. We have plans for 5-6 vaccines. Depending on what terms we may agree. They are in short supply right now.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko admitted that personally he is one of those sceptics who believe that if a person lives a normal life, he or she has sufficient immunity against many diseases. However, those, who want to protect themselves with a vaccine, will be given an opportunity to do so. “Vaccination will happen. If you want it, you will get vaccinated. If you don't, we will not force anyone to do it. It is up to you to decide on vaccination,” the president stated.