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14,000 medical workers selected to receive the first batch of vaccine in Georgia

By Veronika Malinboym
Wednesday, February 10
Yesterday, the head of the National Centre for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze announced that 14,000 individuals have been selected to be vaccinated for coronavirus during the initial stage of the country’s vaccination program. Gamkrelidze said that the vaccination will be carried out in Tbilisi, Batumi, and Kutaisi. He added that the vaccination of doctors, nurses, and junior medical workers will be voluntary and that the list of medical professionals will be compounded by the time the vaccine arrives in the country.

Deputy Health Minister Tamar Gabunia stated that 9 institutions were selected to be in charge of the vaccination across the country. According to Gamkrelidze, training of the personnel in charge of the vaccination will begin this week. Last month, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced that the first doses of Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive in Georgia by late February, while 180,000 doses of AstraZeneca are to arrive by mid-March. The vaccination will first be carried out with the medical workers and senior citizens.

According to Deputy Health Minister Gabunia, the AstraZeneca vaccine is recommended for individuals 16 years old or older, while the Pfizer vaccine is more suitable for adults. She added that the existing vaccination plan aims to vaccinate all adults regardless of whether an individual fully recovered from the virus or not. It has been found that approximately 40-42% of the country’s population wishes to receive a vaccine, but the rate is expected to grow as soon as the educational campaign on the benefits of vaccination launches at the end of February or the beginning of March.

One of the leaders of the opposition Lelo party Anna Natsvlishvili called the government to be completely transparent about everything related to the country’s vaccination process. She called for the government to release all the information it has about the vaccine since the failure to do so will result in Lelo’s taking the matter to Court. Deputy Health Minister Gabunia responded by saying that the government cannot release the complete information about the vaccines as Natsvlishvili and her party requires because it is legally bound by the conditions of the agreement the country signed with the COVAX platform and the manufacturers of the vaccines the country is to acquire.