PRISTINA (Reuters) – A shipment of 7,020 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived in Albania late on Monday and the Balkan country expects a batch of 360,000 AstraZeneca vaccines in April, the prime minister said.
Albania launched its inoculation programme in early January with only 975 Pfizer/BionTech shots that were donated from an unspecified EU country.
“Today we have got a written confirmation from a friendly country for 360,000 vaccines of AstraZeneca that will roll out in April,” Prime Minister Edi Rama told reporters at the airport on the arrival of the Pfizer vaccines.
So far, four of six Western Balkan countries have been able to start inoculations – Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and North Macedonia. Kosovo and Montenegro have not secured supplies yet.
Albania and other Western Balkan countries have ordered various vaccines under the COVAX scheme, but the shipments have been delayed.
Albania reported a total 1,567 coronavirus deaths and 93,850 infections as of Monday.
(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Ivana Sekularac and Nick Macfie)