Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce acknowledged that the mass vaccination process in Macedonia has stopped because of the lack of vaccines. The Boris Trajkovski sports hall in Skopje will be closed for several days and serious work will resume only at the end of the month, when is the next deadline for the arrival of 500,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine as well as some 100,000 Pfizer vaccines.

The Sinovac vaccines have lower efficiency than other vaccines, but that is the only major source where Filipce was able to provide doses and after they arrive the Healthcare Ministry plans to allow no-appointment vaccinations to those interested. Over 450,000 people are waiting to get vaccinated, but it’s not clear if the interest will remain the same when Sinovac becomes the dominant vaccine.

Meanwhile, the Ministry created a serious problem for some 15,000 citizens who used the offer from Serbia and got vaccinated with Astra Zeneca vaccines in March and April. They are now up for their booster shots and Serbia offered to send the vaccines to Macedonia and spare the people their return trip. But Filipce refused the offer and now these citizens are forced to travel to Serbia once more and use that country’s healthcare resources.