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Belarus might produce its own COVID-19 vaccine


Belarus might produce its own coronavirus vaccine, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he talked with the staff of Minsk City Hospital No. 4 named after N.Ye. Savchenko on 14 December, BelTA informs.

The head of state informed that three main coronavirus containment strategies are on the table now: the purchase of a Russian vaccine, the production of vaccines from the Russian strain in Belarus, and the development of Belarus' own vaccine.

“It is possible that we will have to resort to all the three options. We will need to buy a vaccine in order to urgently vaccinate a risk group (these are doctors and nurses first of all). It would be good to start producing a vaccine locally. It is not only about selling it afterwards, but about meeting our own needs. Therefore, all the three options will be used. If our scientists achieve meaningful progress in it, we will start producing our own vaccine,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to him, Russia is ready to give Belarus everything it needs to embark on vaccine production.

“Why don't I rule out the production of our own vaccine? I am sure that this infection [coronavirus] will stay with us forever. Therefore, we will need a vaccine. And not only today or tomorrow, but also the day after tomorrow,” the head of state explained. “If we learn to produce a vaccine on our own and gain experience, we will have good specialists, scientists, good doctors, and thus the healthcare system will improve this way. In general, biotechnology has great prospects,” he emphasized.

Specialists from Vitebsk and scientists from the National Academy of Sciences submitted proposals for the production of the country's own vaccine to the head of state.

The president pointed to a fierce competition for the development and production of vaccines. “What worries me about this vaccine is a fight for money. Billions of dollars are involved, and everyone began to fight for this money. This overshadows the responsibility for the vaccine and for those people who take part in the trials,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

All the above-mentioned options are to be discussed on 17 December at a meeting hosted by the head of state.

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