With the arrival of 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, after months of delay due to apparent corruption in the Macedonian Healthcare Ministry, plans are being made to greatly increase the number of vaccinations.

Macedonia lags badly behind most other countries in the region, and has only about 60,000 citizens vaccinated – most of them with just one dose. But the Ministry plans to begin vaccinating between 10,000 and 15,000 people a day starting tomorrow, a significant increase on the current rate of about 3,000.

The Sinopharm vaccines won’t last long under this pace, but additional 600,000 Sinopharm doses are also expected, as well as a much smaller but steady supply of Pfizer vaccines. Macedonia is still in the midst of a major Third Wave of the epidemic. New infection rates have dropped into triple digits, after reaching up to 1,500 a day, and the number of active cases is now under 15,000, which has given some respite to the public. But the number of deaths per day remains stubbornly high, over 30. On some days this is affected by the apparent underreporting of deaths during late March and April, and deaths from this period are now added to the official reports for May.