By Aisha Jabbarova
Azerbaijan will start offering COVID-19 vaccination to citizens aged over 18 as of May 10, Deputy Minister of Healthcare Teymur Musayev said during the Operational Headquarters’ briefing today.
He mentioned that 600,000 citizens have already received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far and that all COVID-19 vaccines presently used in Azerbaijan are safe and effective.
The government is negotiating with various vaccine manufacturers in order to continue supplying vaccines to the country and vaccination may be required to be done every year, as in the case of flu, he said.
Furthermore, he said that there will be no additional restrictions during the upcoming Ramadan holidays, except for the suspension of the work of public transport.
Recoveries outnumber new COVID-19 cases
Addressing the briefing, Head of the Department of Prevention and Control of Diseases of the Management Union of Medical Territorial Units Yagut Garayeva said that the number of people who recovered from the coronavirus in Azerbaijan has doubled the number of new infection cases.
"There is a positive trend. The epidemiological situation in Azerbaijan is stable," Garayeva said, adding that the infection rate of COVID-19 in the country is within 10 percent.
Most COVID-19 patients in the country are aged 30-59, she said.
Speaking about strains of COVID-19, Garayeva noted that no new strain of COVID-19, including Indian strain, has been detected in Azerbaijan, except the British strain.
Azerbaijan started vaccinating citizens using China’s vaccines on January 18 and now AstraZeneca vaccines. The country has also purchased Russia-made Sputnik V vaccine.
The nationwide vaccination is free and on a voluntary basis and is in line with the “Strategy of vaccination against COVID-19 in Azerbaijan for 2021-2022”.
Azerbaijan confirmed its first COVID-19 case on February 28, 2020. The country introduced a special quarantine regime on March 25 and took a number of measures to fight COVID-19 in the country. Moreover, the government allocated $1.1bn from the 2020 budget to fight the coronavirus infection.
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