Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce announced that some level of mass vaccination will begin in April, after months of delays due to his incompetence and, reportedly, corruption.

He is now announcing that significant quantities of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine and the Russian Sputnik V vaccine will arive this month. Macedonia is currently out of vaccines, after all of the 8,000 Pfizer vaccines donated by Serbia and the 3,000 Sputnik vaccines sent by Russia were used up, prompting citizens to begin scouring Serbia for spare vaccines. In a TV interview, Filipce said that, after the botched talks with Sinopharm, the Government is expecting a visit from a top Chinese official which will hopefully initiate the delivery of the 200,000 expected Sinopharm vaccines. Also, the Russian Embassy announced that the next delivery of Sputnik will arrive soon, Filipce added.

As for Western produced vaccines, the minister acknowledged that talks with Pfizer are still stuck over the issue of who will be held responsible for any side-effects to the vaccine. “We spent a lot of time on this issue, we are in talks every day and I expect that it will be clarified these days”, Filipce said. Astra Zeneca vaccines will be delivered through the Covax mechanism.

The few vaccines procured so far were used exclusively on medical staff. The general population has not received any vaccines, except for those who were able to use dual citizenships or other contacts to get vaccines in Serbia or elsewhere abroad.