Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce is set to sign a contract for the purchase of 200,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines from China today. The move is a major climb-down for the Zaev Government, which earlier rejected Russian and Chinese vaccine offers and insisted it will only buy western produced vaccines, in line with its geo-political orientation.

After being left out in the cold and unable to provide a single dose from Pfizer or other producers, even as most neighboring countries are conducting vaccinations and Serbia even begins administering second doses, Zaev and Filipce were forced to look eastward.

It’s still not clear when the Chinese vaccines will arrive but Filipce presented a vaccination plan that focuses on the elderly and the essential healthcare workers, before expanding to teachers and politicians and eventually to all people with health issues, teachers, bank and super-market employees. The Ministry estimates that it will vaccinate about 2,500 people a day, and begin administering second doses 21 days after the first dose.