Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message that tries to cast doubt about the vaccines developed by Western companies consistent with the narrative that developing countries will be a testing ground for the newly produced vaccines against the coronavirus.
Georgia will neither be the first nor a test country for the coronavirus vaccines. Dozens of states have applied for the future vaccines at an early stage of research.
As of November 26, 2020, three manufacturers of the coronavirus vaccine have announced the high efficacy of their candidates: Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine reported 70%, while Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines reported 90%. The United States and the United Kingdom have already announced that they will start vaccinating groups of people at risk as early as December 2020 (see first person to be vaccinated in the UK here). Canada, Japan and Australia are also working on the rapid authorisation of the vaccine. Germany plans to use the German BioNTech vaccine from the beginning of 2021.
On November 24, Amiran Gamkrelidze, director of the National Center for Disease Control, said the vaccines would be available in Georgia only after they are approved by the World Health Organisation on the COVAX platform, which is expected to take place in February or March 2021, although Gamkrelidze said the exact date was unknown.
The COVAX brings together 92 low and middle-income countries including Georgia. It has pre-ordered doses of up to 2 billion from 9 different vaccine manufacturers and will distribute them to beneficiary countries. It is also noteworthy that many wealthy states entered into agreements with pharmaceutical companies long before the COVAX was set up to receive the required number of doses as soon as the start of vaccine production.