From: Arjola Tafaj
360,000 AstraZeneca Vaccines Scheduled to Arrive in Albania in April

360,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in the country in April. These vaccines have been gifted to Albania by an unnamed country, according to Prime Minister Edi Rama. 

The announcement was made yesterday by Rama at the same time as 7020 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Albania. He clarified that the government is in communication with AstraZeneca.

Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) authorized AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine for emergency use. In a statement to the media, WHO representatives said that the Covax initiative, of which Albania is a member, can begin to distribute the vaccine to lower-income countries.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is the second one approved for use by the WHO. The vaccine will be administered in two doses, with an interval of 12 weeks.

This is the second ‘secret’ donation of vaccines in Albania. In January a batch of Pfizer vaccines was delivered to Albania and Rama said he was unable to say where they came from as per the donor’s request.

Rama has maintained that the donor country provided the vaccine doses as a personal favor to him, seeking in return his word not to reveal the name of the country.

Still, the lack of transparency by the government and Public Health Institute has raised questions not only regarding these claims but whether the transportation and storage of the Pfizer vaccine have complied with established protocols.