The official web site set up to have citizens register for vaccines is over 46,000 registrations, and additional 13,500 people registered through their general practitioners. Meanwhile, Macedonia has less than 5,000 doses of vaccines, delivered as a donation from Serbia.

It’s unclear how the Government will handle this disparity. A plan is in place to have key healthcare workers use up this modest first batch of vaccines, along with people over 70, who are also included in the priority group, but a meaningful implementation of this plan will have to wait for the arrival of more vaccines. The Healthcare Ministry is now hoping that China will deliver the ordered 200,000 doses sometime in February, but Macedonia lost precious time while the Government insisted it will only buy western made vaccines. Only after the Government failed to get any commercially available Pfizer vaccines, did it turn toward China.

Given that the vaccine requires two doses, the currently available batch will barely be enough for 2,400 healthcare workers. The Ministry plans to begin vaccinations on Wednesday, with six booths in a field hospital set up in Skopje which will work in two shifts. If the ambitious schedule holds, the Serbian donation will be used up in a matter of days.