BELGRADE, December 24 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Ana Brnabic received the first vaccine against COVID-19 in Serbia on Thursday, launching a mass inoculation procedure with doses developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Approximately 4,875 doses of Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccines were transferred to Serbia on Tuesday, the first country in the Balkans to receive shots against COVID-19.
“I am honored to be able to do that for my country and be the first to pave the way for other citizens (to get vaccinated),” Brnabic said after being vaccinated at the Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Serums in Belgrade.
Brnabic said that shipments of Chinese Sinopharm vaccines and Russian Sputnik V vaccines are expected to arrive in the country soon, but she did not specify any specific time frame.
She said that President Aleksandar Vučić will most likely receive the Sinopharm vaccine. “We agreed that the two of us would make recordings of different producers,” Brnabic told reporters. Serbia will also receive AstraZenec and Moderna vaccines next year.
Most Pfizer / BioNTech start-up vaccines will be given to seniors placed in retirement homes.
Serbia reported 4,426 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours and 52 deaths on Wednesday. Since the start of the pandemic earlier this year, about 312,000 people in the country, including more than 3,000 nurses and doctors, have become infected and 2,833 have died. Hospitals are working at full capacity. (Report by Ivana Sekularac Editing by Mark Heinrich)