Kosovo started the vaccination of persons above 85 years old in Prishtina and other cities across the country.
The vaccination of this category is foreseen until April 11, when those 80-84 years old will be vaccinated.
Kosovo is the last country in the region to start the immunization campaign against COVID-19.
After receiving the first 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the World Health Organization mechanism, Covax, the country started vaccinating its medical staff on March 29.
UNICEF has announced that Kosovo will receive another 76,800 doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 during May.
In total, Kosovo will receive 100,800 doses of AstraZeneca through Covax.
The Albanian government vaccinated several of Kosovo’s medical staff in the northern city of Kukes, the closest to Kosovo, and had promised to continue with the rest of the staff. Kosovo has declined Albania’s offer to have its teachers vaccinated in Albania with the Chinese Sinovac vaccine, citing geopolitical and health safety issues.
Prime Minister Albin Kurti said that because Kosovo is not recognized by many countries, including Russia and China, they “don’t have the comfort of accepting vaccines from all over, like some countries are doing.”
“Our orientation is European and Euro-Atlantic, [in close relations] with countries that recognize us, that’s why we have our hesitations and skepticism, but also our clear position towards different offers that might reach us from non-recognizer countries or from outside Europe,” Kurti told journalists on Monday.
Last week, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti had asked him to have their teachers vaccinated instead of medical staff, who would be vaccinated in Kosovo using the first batch of AstraZeneca supply the country received a few days ago. Rama said he had replied positively, suggesting that Kosovo teachers would go to Albania to get the vaccine, just like a number of doctors and nurses had done before.
Minister Manastirliu has promised to support Kosovo with Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines when they are available, Vitia said.