Vaccination against COVID-19 starts in Albania

Vaccination against COVID-19 has started in Albania, where the first to receive this service are health workers, who will be followed by police and other public servants, as well as the elderly or the groups that are considered most at risk.

Among the first people to be vaccinated were Prime Minister Edi Rama, the director of the Tirana Infectious Diseases Hospital, Najada Çomo, and the infectious disease doctor, Pëllumb Pipero.

Vaccination at the national stadium “Air Albania” has continued normally with other people who have received the vaccine. On Monday, 50 doctors out of 5,000 who are considered the main priority are expected to be vaccinated.

After the vaccination, Prime Minister Rama said that citizens should not be afraid of vaccination and that the vaccine is advisable, but not mandatory.

“It is certain that the vaccine leaves the Illyrians, Illyrians and no chip is inserted in the body to eavesdrop on the rumors of cafes”, said Rama.

Earlier on Monday, the Prime Minister, together with the Minister of Health Ogerta Manstirliu announced that the vaccination officially starts in the afternoon at the national stadium “Air Albania”, a place which is adapted to carry out this process.

Prime Minister Rama stated that the government has managed to ensure the start of vaccination before the deadline announced by him, due to the fact that a member state of the European Union has managed to provide Albania with additional vaccines, beyond 500 thousand doses provided by the American company. Pfizer. However, Prime Minister Rama has not indicated from which EU country the vaccine doses were provided.

Prime Minister Rama criticized the European Union for saying that “at the moment when the EU has decided to think only for itself, it is left to the member states to interact with non-member countries for the vaccine”.

“Despite the investment with COVAX, if we were to wait for him, we would still be waiting and we would not know how long the wait would last. That is why we engaged with other channels and we succeeded “, Rama emphasized.

Rama referred to the World Health Organization program, COVAX, which aims to distribute coronavirus vaccines to poor countries. Kosovo is also part of this program.

The EU has so far reached six agreements for about two billion doses of the vaccine with the companies: Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Pfizer / BioNTech and CureVac. The European drug regulator has approved the use of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The Prime Minister of Albania, among other things, has promised to allocate a part of the vaccines to the medical staff in Kosovo.

On the other hand, the Minister of Health, Ogerta Manastirliu gave details about the vaccination process .

“The vaccination plan includes several aspects, which includes the priority groups that will be vaccinated, which are health workers, emergency workers. Here too there is a priority because the number of our health personnel is 23 thousand. Doctors and nurses working at COVID hospitals are first. “Their vaccination will start today”, said the minister.

According to her, people over 75 and those who have health problems will also be vaccinated.

“Then he continues with the health workers in resuscitation, in emergencies. In the groups that have been identified as priority, there are elderly people and those with health problems. We will continue with people over 75 years old “, said Manastirliu.

Albania has provided a total of 500 thousand doses of vaccine produced by the American company Pfizer, in cooperation with the German company, BioNTech.

Prime Minister Rama has announced that the first 10,750 doses will arrive in Albania at the beginning of the third week of January and over 30 thousand more doses in February and others in the coming months, according to the vaccination plan.

Albania has already officially secured and is expected to receive at least 13,000 doses of vaccine in the coming weeks – including the first 10,000 doses contracted by Pfizer in early January.

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Albania in March 2020, about 63,500 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 1,241 patients have died.