18 January 2022, Tuesday, 2:10
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Why Is It Impossible To Find Chinese Vaccine In Belarus?

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Why Is It Impossible To Find Chinese Vaccine In Belarus?
PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Do they spare the vaccine for the Russians?

Lukashenka declared that neither Pfizer, nor Moderna, nor any other Western vaccine against the coronavirus would be imported into our country. Belarusians still have options to be vaccinated with either Sputnik V or Sputnik Light or the Chinese vaccine VeroCell. The latter has been hard to find over the past couple of weeks.

Nasha Niva decided to figure out the reasons.

“I wanted to be vaccinated with the Chinese vaccine VeroCell, but there wasn’t any in my Minsk 25th polyclinic a few weeks ago. Then I was told that the vaccine was left only for those who need a second dose. I had to get vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik, said Pavel from Minsk. “Relatives from Orsha have a similar story.

There they were vaccinated with the Chinese vaccine, and when they came a few weeks later for the second dose, they were told that there was no vaccine, they had to wait a month until a new batch arrived.”

A reader from Minsk told a similar story. According to him, the Chinese vaccine remained in only one hospital in Minsk.

“They offer to be vaccinated with Sputnik,” he stated.

Many Belarusians face a similar situation. Thus, Onliner journalists drove through the vaccination points in Minsk and did not find any Chinese vaccine in any. At some points, there are no Chinese vaccine advertisements on the doors.

Before that, the dev.by portal also wrote about the lack of a Chinese vaccine. A programmer with Russian citizenship tried to get a coronavirus vaccine. According to him, only Sputnik remained for 140 rubles, but not the Chinese VeroCell for 250 rubles.

How many doses of the Chinese vaccine got to Belarus?

They started vaccinating Belarusians with the Chinese vaccine VeroCell in March this year. As the Ministry of Health of Belarus reported, on March 15, the country received 100,000 doses of the vaccine. Doctors were the first to get vaccinated.

On May 18, Belarus received another 300 thousand doses of the vaccine free of charge within the framework of humanitarian aid. And already on September 9 - 1.5 million doses, of which 500 thousand were free.

Officially: “There are no problems with the Chinese vaccine, it is sent to pregnant women”.

Today Minister of Health Dzmitry Pinevich said that 800 thousand doses of various vaccines are currently in circulation in Belarus. True, how many of them are Chinese is unknown.

“This week, another batch is expected to arrive (probably, we are talking about the Sputnik V vaccine - NN), and next week, a large batch of the Chinese vaccine,” the minister said. - As for the Chinese vaccine, it is more aimed at vaccination of pregnant and lactating mothers. It exists and is directed to the regions. There are no problems with the Chinese vaccine.”

How many doses of the vaccine will arrive in the next batch, the minister did not specify.

Meanwhile, in fact, the instructions for the Russian vaccine say that pregnant women cannot be vaccinated with it. VeroCell is recommended for immunization of expectant mothers.

Natallia Mysliuchyk, the head physician of the 21st central district polyclinic of the Zavodzki district, told the Minsk-Novosti agency that in Minsk VeroCell will be used exclusively for vaccination of pregnant women.

“In the capital, this drug will be delivered to healthcare institutions exclusively for vaccination of pregnant women, since other anti-coronavirus vaccines approved for use in Belarus are not suitable for them,” she said.

How many pregnant women are there in Belarus? As of 23 October, 400 pregnant women were vaccinated in the country. This amounted to 2.5% of the required amount, noted the chief sanitary doctor of Belarus Aliaksandr Tarasenka. That is, they plan to vaccinate 16 thousand pregnant women in total. So what about the rest of the doses?

Are they spared for Russians?

Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that part of the Chinese vaccine was hidden for the Russians. Why? The fact is that only two types of vaccines are used in Russia - Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona.

But for trips to China, it is the Chinese vaccine VeroCell that is needed. It doesn't matter where it was made. Representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Moscow confirmed this information to Nasha Niva.

“The Asian Visa Service Center informs: China has indeed recognized vaccination with the Chinese drug in any country. However, the parties are required to submit an official certificate of vaccination with the Chinese vaccine. If an interested person is vaccinated in the Republic of Belarus with a Chinese vaccine, then they must apply to the Ministry of Health of Belarus for an official certificate of vaccination with a Chinese vaccine.

It is also necessary to notarize the translation into Chinese at the Chinese Embassy in Belarus to use it as an official certificate to assist in applying for a visa,” the embassy responded.

Obviously, one of the easy ways out for the Russians going to China is to get vaccinated in Belarus and obtain the required certificate. Moreover, as we wrote above, the cost of vaccination for foreigners is 250 rubles. There is no official information about mass vaccination tours to Belarus yet.

Meanwhile, even over the past pandemic year, Russians have visited China 306,000 times. In 2019, the number of trips reached 2.6 million.