From: Alice Taylor
369 Medical Personnel have Received COVID-19 Vaccine in Albania

Prime Minister Edi Rama stated on Sunday that 369 doctors and nurses have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a post on Facebook, Rama said that week after week the number of those vaccinated will increase.

“369 doctors and nurses of the first line of battle with COVID19 are today more protected from the dangerous virus, after performing the first dose of anti-COVID vaccine at the Vaccination Center at Air Albania Stadium, in the first 6 days of vaccination.”

Vaccination in Albania has been accompanied by political debates. Prime Minister Edi Rama has been criticized for a lack of transparency over how the first doses of the vaccine were obtained. Rama said they were donated by a friendly EU country which asked to remain anonymous. Documents leaked to the media showed they were distributed from the Pfizer centre in Germany, but the German Embassy said that they were not responsible for donating them.

Rama has also levied criticism against the EU, saying their decision to distribute vaccines between member states and not the Western Balkans is selfish and morally unjustifiable. This sparked reactions from the EU Ambassador and the French Embassy.

The Prime Minister has also said that politicians and officials will not be able to skip the queue for vaccination. He, however, was one of the first people in the country to receive the vaccine.

There have also been concerns over the government’s plan or strategy for vaccinating the population. Rama claimed the strategy is ready, yet his spokesperson said planning is still ongoing.