Venko Filipche, the Minister of Health of North Macedonia, announced that on the 28th of April a shipment of 200,000 Sinofarm vaccines will arrive in North Macedonia from China. Also, on the 19th and 26th of April, 10,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccines are expected to arrive as well.

Filipche will have a meeting with the mayors and directors of medical facilities in Kumanovo, Bitola, Shtip, Kavadarci, Ohrid, and Tetovo to arrange the locations where, as in Skopje in the A1 Arena, the mass vaccination of the citizens will be conducted. In accordance with the availability of vaccines, around 7,000 to 10,000 citizens could be vaccinated daily. Filipche expects a satisfying tempo of vaccination before the summer period.

Concerning the public reaction to the absence of vaccines for a large number of people that fall into the critical categories i.e. have very rare diseases, chronic pulmonary diseases, are on kidney dialysis, Filipche appealed for patience and maintained his stance that all is going well with the vaccination plan according to people’s age.

Regarding the production of the Russian Sputnik Vaccine in Serbia, he said that there will be no orders, since enough vaccines were ordered i.e. 2,600, 000 vaccines. The greatest part of them are the 800,000 Pfizer vaccines that are expected to arrive through the COVAX Initiative and through direct negotiations, then 400,000 doses of the Russian and the Chinese vaccine are expected including 100,000 vaccines through the EU’s Solidarity Fund and 500,000 vaccines from the Chinese Sinovac, which would secure the process of vaccination.

Taking into account that the restrictive measures are in force until the 20th of April, the situation will be monitored during this weekend and the start of next week and accordingly, a decision will be made whether some of the restrictions will be lifted. Filipche informed that the pressure on the hospitals is lowering, the number of incoming patients is also decreasing, and today, the number of newly infected is below 900.

The Health Minister expecting that consensus will be reached at the Parliament about the changes in the Law on Health Protection which will limit the expenses for the treatment of COVID patients in private hospitals to max 5,000 EUR.