Even though the vaccination isn’t mandatory, we have been considering the possibility of introducing certain restrictions which would enter into force in September or October, if we experience yet another coronavirus wave. We cannot all suffer because someone doesn’t want to get vaccinated. We cannot live in lockdown. The world has to function and that is why this vaccine was invented – so that we can all return to normal, said Venko Filipche, the Health Minister of North Macedonia, who together with the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev visited the Clinic for Orthopedics at the University Clinic for Traumatology, Orthopedic Diseases, Anesthesia, Reanimation and Intensive Care and Emergency Center (CTODARICE).
“We were aware that we will face an anti-vaccination campaign. We were faced with similar anti-vaccination campaign two years ago, when the measles pandemic was raging. But back then we had the vaccination as an instrument and we intervened and the epidemic was fought off. In a matter of 6 months, the reach of the vaccination was increased. We imposed a ban on enrolling non-vaccinated children in kindergartens and schools. This should be yet another sign and indicator of what sort of powerful weapon the vaccines are in the fight against the pandemic,” Filipche said.
He informed that the Ministry of Health is closely following the trends everywhere in the region and said that there isn’t any big difference in the vaccination’s reach. He said that the vaccination system will be kept active i.e. all vaccination stations will be open and the citizens can get vaccinated without registering, as was the case previously.
“The field vaccination campaign will use the principle of rotation. This means if in some place all the citizens willing to get the jab were vaccinated, after finishing the vaccination in all the other places around the given Health Center, there will be another cycle. He have also opened vaccination stations for the children, as well. Around 1,800 children were registered, and around 500 were already vaccinated. But all this is not enough to keep us protected from another wave. The citizens should be aware that if they don’t get vaccinated, the chances of getting the coronavirus, which in all probability will put them in a hospital and most likely cause negative consequences. And the citizen have this mechanism i.e. instrument available to vaccinate and protect themselves,” Filipche said.
Regarding the Delta Variant, he reminded that during last week five new cases were registered, three in Skopje and one each in Tetovo and Kumanovo, out of the eight analyzed. He said that all the other variants are also present.
“Regarding all the variants, all the mutations of the virus, the vaccine is the only weapon and the citizens must become aware that it is the way that will put an end to the spread of the virus,” Filipche said. He informed that at the moment analyses are being made about the extent of the vaccination in the sectors. In the health sector, there is a high percentage, above 85%, the kindergarten employees with over 50% or 54-55% and the percentage at elementary and secondary schools is the same, explained the Minister of Health of North Macedonia.