COVAX delivers 24,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to Montenegro
COVAX is a mechanism available to every country, through which they can equitably access COVID-19 vaccines approved by WHO as quickly as possible
PODGORICA, March 28, 2021 – 24,000 AstraZeneca vaccines have arrived to Montenegro today thanks to the Ministry of Health’s procurement of these vaccines through COVAX. This is the first batch and more is on the way. All vaccines procured within COVAX are cleared by the WHO as the leading UN organisation in regards to vaccine safety.
This is just another proof of our great solidarity and sincere friendship with all European Union countries, which in this way have significantly contributed to the vaccination process in Montenegro. I once again invite and ask all citizens to respond to the call for vaccination and not to forget that respecting epidemiological measures is the first and basic rule in preserving both personal health and the health of our citizens.
COVAX is a mechanism available to every country, through which they can equitably access COVID-19 vaccines approved by WHO as quickly as possible. This global round of COVAX allocation includes delivery of 237 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine cleared by WHO and European Medicine Agency to more than 130 countries, one of which is Montenegro.
The Head of the Country Office at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Montenegro, Dr. Mina Brajović, said that this shipment is another in a series of confirmations and reminders that the way to fight the pandemic is through cooperation, solidarity and science.
In recent months, the WHO has provided support to Montenegro, with its partners, to prepare for an important step – from vaccine to vaccination. The WHO welcomes the efforts of the Government of Montenegro and the Ministry of Health, led by Dr. Borovinić Bojović, in terms of careful planning and comprehensive preparations. As a strategic partner, the WHO had the privilege of providing support in this important process, including the training of health workers and the development of a National Vaccination Plan.
She emphasized that more than 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in Europe and that the WHO and the European Medicines Agency have confirmed that the vaccine is safe and effective, and prevents COVID-19 causing a severe clinical picture and death.
COVAX has engaged UNICEF to distribute all the COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, because UNICEF is the largest distributer of vaccines in the world, procuring more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunization.
Thanks to science, we now have two complimentary ways to fight against the pandemic and return to normal life. One is to respect the #DistanceHandsMask measures, and the other is to get vaccinated. Both together will decrease the infection rate, keep high-risk groups safe, and allow all Montenegrin children and young people to safely attend preschools, schools and after-school activities and spend time with their peers again.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro, Peter Lundberg, said that vaccines are our ticket to a return to normal life and socio-economic recovery.
Only together can we ensure that the vaccines reach everyone and, along the way, the efforts of all actors are crucial. That is why I want to thank UNICEF and the WHO for their continuous support towards the state in this field, but also to welcome the strong commitment of the Government of Montenegro to prioritize vaccination and provide the vaccine to all people in Montenegro.
COVAX Facility is a global partnership to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. It is led by Gavi - a global Vaccine Alliance, WHO and CEPI with UNICEF leading the efforts to procure and supply the vaccines. The USA and EU are the largest donors to COVAX globally contributing significantly to this partnership. In Montenegro, the EU Delegation’s generous support is also enabling the government and partners to be ready for effective vaccine deployment and to strengthen Montenegro’s public health system during the pandemic.