By Ani Mejlumyan
YEREVAN (Eurasianet) — Employers are now effectively required to demand proof of vaccinations from their workers. But the country’s health care system is now being pushed to the limit.
More Armenians are getting vaccinated against COVID, but the numbers remain the lowest in the region and the country is going through its worst wave of the disease yet.
According to the most recent government data, at most 7 percent of Armenians are fully vaccinated against COVID. That compares to 22 percent in Georgia, and 42 percent in Azerbaijan. And Armenia’s real numbers are in fact likely lower than that, as a significant portion of those who have gotten vaccinated in the country are visitors.
But Armenia’s pace is picking up: The number of those who have gotten their first shot is double that of the fully vaccinated, apparently in reaction to a new government mandate that requires employers to demand from their employees either a proof of vaccination or regular negative PCR tests.
Nevertheless, the number of registered new infections has reached more than 2,000 per day and the deaths due to COVID have been breaking domestic records, with highs of as many as 57 deaths in a day recorded in the last week. More than 6,000 Armenians have now died of COVID, in a population of under three million.