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The Health Ministry of North Macedonia informed that the COVAX initiative informed that the first shipment of vaccines against COVID-19 through its mechanism will arrive in North Macedonia in March. The first vaccine to arrive will be Astra Zeneca, which is manufactured by the AstraZeneca company in cooperation with Oxford University.

“COVAX informed that between 103.200 and 175.200 of this vaccine are planned for North Macedonia, out of which around 35% should arrive during the first quarter, while the remaining will arrive during the second quarter of this year,” informed the Health Ministry.

This would mean that during the first three months of this year we can expect a minimum of 36.120 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to implement the population vaccination.

“COVAX additionally informed that only 18 participants were included in the first wave of Pfizer BNT162b2 delivery while the countries that have started with the implementation of their own vaccination programs against COVID-19 were excluded. The COVAX Initiative announced that in future phases of distribution of Pfizer vaccine other participants in the facility might be included,” informed the Health Ministry.

Otherwise, North Macedonia is part of those countries that have led direct negotiations with Pfizer for direct acquisition of 800.000 doses. The Government has managed to arrange the first 5.850 doses of the Pfizer vaccines to arrive this month, while larger quantities of vaccines are expected to arrive in March and April. Last month, the ministry announced that vaccines from this producer were secured to arrive throughout 2021.

North Macedonia is expected to acquire 200.000 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 from China as well.

According to the National Plan’s for the Population’s Immunization, the vaccination against COVID-19 will be implemented in three phases. In the first phase, the health workers that are in the front lines and with high and very high risks for infection are planned to be vaccinated. During this phase, the following priority groups are also planned to be vaccinated: elderly individuals with a higher risk of getting infected, complications and death outcomes, as defined according to their age, persons above 70.