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Belgium to donate doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Georgia

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, August 5
Belgium will donate doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to Georgia by the end of 2021, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday. According to the ministry, 4 million doses will be redirected to third countries through various mechanisms, including the Covax platform, with the help of UNICEF and GAVI. Belgium prioritises donating the vaccines to the countries of the Western Balkans, the Eastern Neighbourhood and Southern Europe, as well as to Africa based on the health situation and the vaccination capacity of the countries.

At first, 168,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines will be sent to Ukraine followed by 225,600 doses intended for Kosovo, Armenia and Georgia. As said by Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, Georgia will receive 86,400 doses. "This donation is an example of our European cooperation to defeat this pandemic and accelerate global vaccination," said Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities Policy, Meryame Kitir.

Currently, vaccination in Georgia is available with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines. According to the First Deputy Minister of Health Tamar Gabunia, up to 3,000 people did not show up for the booked vaccinations. She explained that an inquiry is underway to determine whether it was an intervention of anti-vaxxers or the spontaneous action of the citizens.

On Wednesday, Georgian Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze and French Ambassador Diego Colas observed the vaccination of foreign citizens living in Georgia. French Ambassador to Georgia Diego Colas has thanked the Georgian government for including foreigners in the vaccination process. “This is the right decision. I think the vaccination process in Georgia is effectively managed,” Ambassador Colas remarked.

According to the assessments of immunologists, the Covid-19 Delta strain will become dominant in Georgia from the end of August. “Management of the pandemic under the given daily number of coronavirus cases is critical while the majority of the population refuses to vaccinate… the situation is tragic,” said allergist-immunologist Bidzina Kulumbegov.

On Wednesday, Georgia reported 4,233 coronavirus cases, 1,934 recoveries, and 38 deaths. Currently, 36,102 individuals remain infected with Covid-19 in the country. As of yesterday, 542,639 people got coronavirus jabs.