Azerbaijan on Monday launched the first stage of its vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus with healthcare staff.
Health Minister Oktay Shiraliyev received the first dose of the CoronaVac vaccine developed by China-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
“The vaccine has been clinically tested in several countries. There were no adverse effects,” Shiraliyev told reporters following his vaccination, adding the same vaccine is being administered in “brotherly” Turkey.
“The vaccine is very effective,” he said, emphasizing that although some vaccinated people may also get infected, the disease would be “very mild” in their case.
Several top health authorities also got their first COVID-19 vaccine jabs in the capital Baku.
Azerbaijan plans to gradually receive 4 million doses of the vaccine and aims to vaccinate 40% of the population by getting more doses later.
Vaccination is planned to be carried out in two stages. First, healthcare workers, people over 65 and security forces will be vaccinated.
In the next stage, people with chronic diseases such as respiratory diseases, hemodialysis, diabetes, obesity, people over the age of 50 and education, public transportation, communication and banking sector employees are planned to be vaccinated.