TASHKENT, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan will conduct COVID-19 vaccinations on a voluntary basis, a top Uzbek official said Wednesday as the Central Asian nation prepares to start mass vaccinations.
"Vaccination in our country will be carried out on a voluntary basis. If a person refuses to be vaccinated, no measures will be taken against him (or her)," Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Behzod Musayev told deputies in a meeting, of which excerpts were broadcast on local television.
No officials or employers have the right to dismiss a person from work if he or she refuses to be vaccinated, he added.
According to Uzbek officials, the first stage of the mass vaccination campaign will cover 4.1 million people, and deputies proposed to vaccinate elderly and disabled persons, employees of the healthcare and education systems, as well as members of law enforcement bodies first.
So far, Uzbekistan has registered 79,749 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 622 related deaths.