On April 9, Facebook page “მამული ენა სარწმუნოება” (Homeland, Language, Religion) published a post, saying that brigade commanders are calling on soldiers to get vaccinated, otherwise threatening with lockup. The author of the post claims that his closest friend provided him with this information from the army.
On April 11, Facebook page “არსენა ოძელაშვილის კვალდაკვალ” uploaded a video on the same topic. A person in a military uniform featuring in the video says that he received information from the army that soldiers are forced to get vaccinated; otherwise, they are threatened with dismissal from service or international mission.
“I received information that things are going wrong in the army and brigade commanders are compelling soldiers to get vaccinated. Otherwise, they are threatening with dismissal from service or international mission,” he says.
As of 17:00, April 14, the video has 2,800 shares.
The information as if Georgian soldiers are forced to get vaccinated or otherwise, are threatened with dismissal or lockup is not true. The Georgian Defense Ministry has denied the reports.
Myth Detector reached out to the Georgian Defense Ministry. The latter denied the information that Georgian soldiers are allegedly forced to get vaccinated and threatened with dismissal or lockup in case of refusal.
The Ministry clarified that the vaccination program has been launched in the armed forces, but it applies to those soldiers who are getting ready for the deployment in NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, namely the 23rd Battalion of II Infantry Brigade of the Georgian Armed Forces. The Defense Ministry also noted that NATO demands all soldiers to get vaccinated prior to the deployment on military bases in Afghanistan.
The Georgian Defense Ministry began administering the first shots of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines at Giorgi Abramishvili MoD Military Hospital. At the first stage, Georgian troops preparing for the deployment in Afghanistan got vaccinated, according to the ministry. Myth Detector was told at the Defense Ministry that due to new regulations according to which vaccination with AstraZeneca vaccine in Georgia will continue exclusively in the age group of 55 or older, the process of vaccination was suspended and Pfizer vaccines will be used to vaccinate remaining soldiers.
The Defense Ministry stressed that no complications or side effects were reported in the process of using AstraZeneca vaccines.
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