The Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan announced that citizens are now required to get vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Health and Medical Industry (MHMI) made the announcement on July 7, which was subsequently published in state media. The ministry’s order applied to all Turkmens 18 years old and above.
State newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan published the MHMI’s announcement, saying that citizens aged 18 years and older “should be vaccinated.” The health ministry’s announcement added: “To make preventive vaccinations effective, each of us should actively participate in this process.” However, those with medical contraindications to vaccines will be exempted from the inoculation program.
Turkmenistan’s neighbors in Central Asia also put mandatory vaccination orders in place. In late June of this year, Kazakhstan made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for a wide range of public and private sector employees – following a similar mandate by Russia. Just four days earlier, Tajikistan made COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for all its citizens aged 18 and older.
Turkmenistan procured vaccines from Russia and China for use in its COVID-19 vaccination program. It approved the two Russian vaccine candidates – Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona – alongside the CoronaVac vaccine.
The announcement followed the Central Asian region reporting a fresh spike in new COVID-19 infections. Nevertheless, the Turkmen government introduced restrictions such as mask mandates in response.
Alongside North Korea, the secretive Turkmenistan had yet to declare a single COVID-19 case. Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said in a June 2021 interview: “[Thanks] to work [we] have carried out, [the country has] yet to discover a case of this disease.”
Foreign media outlets, however, have regularly cast doubt on this claim – with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reporting two such cases. Turkish diplomat Kemal Uchkun died of COVID-19 in July 2020 at a Turkmen hospital. Later, British Ambassador to Turkmenistan Hugh Philpott admitted on social media that he had contracted COVID-19 while stationed in the country. Philpott’s December 2020 tweet spoke of his recovery “from a virus trending in the ‘physical world.’”
Mandatory vaccinations are tantamount to death sentences on citizens
The COVID-19 vaccine mandates implemented by Turkmenistan and its Central Asian neighbors evoked memories of the Soviet Union – where these nations were formerly part of. While the MHMI’s mandate did not lay out punishment for those declining, the fact that COVID-19 vaccines have been linked to different health issues made the required vaccination order comparable to the death penalty.
A similar effort had been launched by the U.S., with so-called “vaccine strike forces” to conduct door-to-door visits on Americans and administer COVID-19 vaccines. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a June 6 press conference that the Biden administration’s campaign sought to provide Americans with purportedly safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines against the Delta or B16172 variant. (Related: White House officially announces vaccine “strike forces” that will go door-to-door, targeting anti-vaxxers in their homes, forcing Americans to take KILL SHOTS.)
Psaki said that the door-to-door campaign is one of five areas U.S. President Joe Biden and his team are focusing on in the effort to inoculate more people. “[The] targeted, community-by-community, door-to-door outreach [aims] to get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the [COVID-19] vaccine is,” she elaborated.
The campaign appeared to be the fulfillment of a vaccine-related plan initially announced early this year. Back in January 2021, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the public health agency will commission military medical personnel to help out in COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
Walensky said during a Jan. 19 Good Morning America appearance: “We need to make sure we have the people … on the ground. We’re going to commission military medical personnel. We’re going to look at upper level nursing students and medical students [to help out].” (Related: Biden orders TROOPS to administer coronavirus vaccines in California as military is repurposed for genocide.)