MINSK, December 16. /TASS/. The Belarusian Health Ministry has greenlighted the import and use of Russia’s CoviVac coronavirus shot, the agency said in a statement on Thursday.
"The Belarusian Health Ministry has authorized the import and use of the CoviVac coronavirus vaccine based on Article 27 of the Belarusian Law on Medicine Distribution adopted on July 20, 2006. CoviVac is an inactivated, whole-virion, concentrated and purified vaccine designed to prevent epidemic diseases and address their consequences," the statement reads.
The ministry added that the vaccine had been delivered to a pharmacy warehouse on December 6 and more than 300,000 doses had been sent to all of the country’s regions on December 13-15.
The Health Ministry pointed out that the documents provided by the manufacturer had been scrutinized in an expert review. "They comply with all the requirements listed in Belarusian laws and were assessed positively," the statement adds.
Belarus was the second country after Russia to approve another Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V. Post-registration trials involving volunteers kicked off in the country on October 1, 2020. The two countries later launched joint vaccine production. In July, Belarus approved another Russian jab, Sputnik Light. The country also uses the Vero Cell shot developed by China’s Sinopharm for inoculation purposes. The Belarusian Health Ministry plans to vaccinate half of the country’s population by the end of the year.
CoviVac, an inactivated whole-virion vaccine developed by the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Chumakov Federal Scientific Center for Research and Development of Immune and Biological Products, was registered with the Russian Health Ministry on February 19. Whole-virion vaccines use either artificially weakened viruses that cannot cause disease or inactivated viruses.