TIRANA, Albania — Albania on Monday accepted 10,000 Sputnik V Russian vaccines donated from the United Arab Emirates in a change of policy on coronavirus vaccinations.
Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said that the Immunization Commission had certified the use of the Russian vaccine “which offer security and efficiency.”
In January, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama demanded an apology from the Russian embassy after it published a message on social media that Moscow stood ready to immediately supply Albania with the Sputnik V vaccine, although that shot is not certified in the European Union.
Earlier this month, Albania said it has been negotiating to receive vaccines not only certified by the EU, meaning Russian and Chinese ones too.
Albania has inoculated medical personnel and has started with people over 80 years old and school teachers.
Since the start in January, Albania has distributed more than 46,000 Pfizer and AstraZeneca shots.
Albania has had 2,137 virus-related deaths and 121,200 cases as of Sunday, according to the health authorities. The government aims to start a mass vaccination campaign to ready the country to welcome tourists in the summertime. In the years before the virus outbreak, tourism has gained a high place in the country’s economy.