The Pfizer vaccine may be the first vaccine Georgia uses to combat the coronavirus in the near future, said Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze earlier today.
The Pfizer vaccine could be the first vaccine we receive, followed by the AstraZeneca vaccine - the two closest we can get through the Covax platform," said the First Deputy Health Minister Tamar Gabunia earlier today.
Gabunia noted that in the long run, it will be technologically easier for Georgia to get a vaccine that needs to be kept at 2 to 8 degrees and does not need to be kept at 70 degrees of celsius, which is Pfizer. She said that taking into account this, storing AstraZeneca will be technologically simpler.
There are vaccines which require special conditions, said Dimitri Khundadze, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Health Committee, noting that at the first stage, the country has the capacity to bring in the Pfizer vaccine, which needs to be kept in -70 degree storage conditions.
Khunadadze noted that at this stage the country has the opportunity to store this type of vaccine for about 100,000 citizens as the needed infrastructure for keeping this vaccine are in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi only.
Khundadze noted that on January 18, countries including Georgia will submit an application to Covax, which must reflect the interest and desire to use the vaccine.
On January 19-28, the WHO and UNICEF will consider applications for a vaccine introduction plan submitted by the country. At the end of the month there will be the first stage regarding distribution decisions. We hope that Georgia will be in the leading position and we will get the vaccine quickly," said Khundadze.
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is used in the USA, UK, Canada, and the EU. It is approved by the World Health Organization.
Deputy Health Minister Tamar Gabunia said yesterday that Chinese vaccine is not considered yet to be brought in the country as it is not approved by the WHO and at this level only Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines are considered to be brought in Georgia.
The Health Ministry says that 1.4 million vaccines are expected to be brought in the country through the Covax platform, the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility. In addition, the negotiations are underway with various countries to faster get the vaccines that European countries will have, said Gabunia.