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Coronavirus

Albania to Begin COVID-19 Vaccinations with Doses Secured from an Undisclosed EU Country

January 11, 2021

TIRANA, Albania – Albania's prime minister says his country plans to begin COVID-19 vaccinations with doses secured from an undisclosed European Union country.

Edi Rama said he was not allowed to say which EU country had provided the vaccines. He said the 27-nation bloc in general had left the Western Balkan nations to wonder when they would get any coronavirus vaccines, and the U.N.-backed COVAX program to deliver vaccines more equitably around the world has lagged so far.

“If we would be waiting for COVAX, we still would be waiting, and no one knows how long such a waiting would last,” he said.

Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said health workers at the country's four virus hospitals would be the first to get shots, followed by the sick and those older than 75.

Rama said the first batch of some 10,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines would arrive next week. The prime minister would get a shot at the launch to show that it “not only is secure but that it is the weapon to kill this invisible enemy.”

Albania has had 1,241 virus-related deaths and 63,595 confirmed cases.

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