From: Alice Taylor
Albanian Government Closes Vaccination Centre Despite Surging COVID Cases

Despite Albania having some of the lowest vaccination rates in the region and amid quadrupling confirmed cases of COVID-19, the government does not appear to be reopening one of the capital’s main vaccination centers.

After weeks of declining figures, yesterday Albanian authorities reported the highest number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic. A total of 1,648 cases were confirmed, a five-fold increase when compared to the start of the year and a 21% positivity rate. Meanwhile, vaccination rates remain under 40%, one of the lowest rates in the whole of Europe.

One of Tirana’s main vaccination centers, located on Skanderbeg Square was closed at the beginning of December to make way for the Christmas market and a funfair. Yet, seven days into the new year, it has not reopened.

In December, Faktoje asked the Ministry of Health when the tent would be reopened. They did not respond and a complaint was sent to the information commissioner. The ultimate response from the ministry was that vaccination will now be carried out in health centres and the Air Albanian Stadium.

They did not provide any information on why it will not be restored, or if it ever would.

Exit visited the Air Albania stadium earlier on Friday and found it deserted, except for a sign and a guard.

The decision, or lack of, comes amid a push for those vaccinated to get their boosters, and the unvaccinated to get their jabs.

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