Bosnia and Herzegovina has become the latest European country to start vaccinating against COVID-19 with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
Some 2000 doses have been allocated to the Republika Srpska with a further 200,000 expected at the end of the month and 200,000 others in March. The government also hopes to receive 200,000 Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines in mid-February through the COVAX program.
It’s believed the country ordered 1.2 million vaccines from COVAX and 900,000 through the EU.
From this first batch of doses, only medical staff will receive it. Bosnia and Herzegovina has registered more than 5000 COVID-19 deaths from a population of 3.5 million. More than 125,000 cases have been reported but like in Albania, the testing strategy is not widespread so real figures are not known.
Albania has refused to use the Sputnik Vaccine, despite an offer from the Russian Embassy in Tirana. Despite not having yet secured enough vaccines for the population of the country, Prime Minister Edi Rama said their suggestion was “inappropriate” and “ridiculous”.
In January, 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were “donated” to Albania by an EU Member State who did not want to be named. A further Pfizer delivery arrived last week but so far, only some medical staff and Rama have been vaccinated.
The next delivery of vaccines is reportedly due on 15 February.
Serbia leads the way in the region in terms of COVID-19 vaccination. Under the state vaccination program, Serbs can now decide whether they want to be vaccinated with the Pfizer / BioNTech, Chinese Sinopharm, or Russian vaccines.
With about 8% of the population vaccinated with at least one dose of anti-COVID-19 vaccine, Serbia is one of the countries with the highest vaccination rate in the world, after Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, and Great Britain.
This week, Serbia received 500,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine and 50,000 doses of the Russian vaccine.
Serbia may also soon have the capacity to produce the Russian vaccine against the Sputnik V coronavirus by the end of this year, said Serbian Minister without Portfolio Nenad Popovic, Radio Free Europe reports.