Some of the 200,000 Chinese coronavirus vaccines will arrive in Macedonia by the end of February, promised Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, and talks are on-going to purchase 100,000 Russian Sputnik vaccines.

We are signing contracts with all manufacturers and we expect them to arrive to the country soon. By the end of February we first get the Chinese vaccines, now that the Chinese New Year is over. Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani and I sent notes to the Chinese Embassy yesterday to speed things up. We still don’t have an exact date for the Russian vaccine. I’m enormously grateful to the Russian Ambassador in this country who is helping us, Zaev said.

His Government made a humiliating U-turn after initially refusing Russian offers and not even entertaining the Chinese vaccine – Zaev claimed that he will only sign contracts with Western manufacturers. But after failing to sing a single such contract, he was forced to turn eastwards. At the moment Macedonia only has less than 5,000 Pfizer vaccines donated by Serbia, half of which were already used or reserved as booster shots.