Second batch of COVAX-mechanism vaccines arrives in Montenegro
The second batch consisting of 24,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in Montenegro today, thanks to procurement carried out by the Ministry of Health under the COVAX mechanism
PODGORICA, 14 May 2021 - The second batch consisting of 24,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in Montenegro today, thanks to procurement carried out by the Ministry of Health under the COVAX mechanism. This is the second delivery of its kind, as 24,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in March, while additional quantities of various vaccines against coronavirus secured through COVAX are expected in the coming period. All vaccines procured under the COVAX mechanism have been approved by the WHO, as the leading organization of the United Nations system dealing with the issue of vaccine safety.
Allow me to use this occasion to send a message to all citizens that the AstraZeneca vaccine is as safe as all the other vaccines against coronavirus and to call upon them to help us return to normal life as soon as possible through mass vaccination – which means that our children can go to school, that parents can go to work, and that our tourist season is better than the previous one.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine has been approved by the WHO and is being used globally to fight coronavirus. The head of the office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Montenegro, Dr Mina Brajovic, emphasized that with about 22% of adults having received the first dose of the vaccine, Montenegro has surpassed the average level of coverage in middle-income countries (11%), but also the coverage levels in this region of Europe (20%). She congratulated both the national authorities and citizens of Montenegro on their efforts and responsible attitude towards immunization, which is a crucial tool in the fight against COVID-19. At the same time, she reminded that in this acute phase of the pandemic, with an increasing number of new strains of the SARS-CoV2 virus, lowering one’s guard was a luxury. According to her, there is no magic solution – increasing vaccination coverage and disciplined adherence to public health measures are the only ways to preserve health, facilitate social and economic recovery and leave the pandemic behind us.
With each new dose, we are collectively getting closer to returning to a new normal, when we will be together next to each other again.
The UNICEF Representative to Montenegro, Juan Santander, received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in April and will soon be receiving the second. He called on citizens to trust the science and to follow the recommendations of health experts.
Vaccines work. People may have concerns or questions, and that is completely understandable. In that case, they should talk to doctors and seek advice from health experts.
The US Ambassador to Montenegro, Judy Rising Reinke, points out that the United States remains committed to leadership in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including through support for the global distribution of vaccines through COVAX.
The United States is the largest contributor to COVAX, with $2 billion invested and an additional $2 billion set aside for Gavi – the Global Vaccine and Immunization Alliance – as support to COVAX’s Advance Market Commitment (AMC). It is essential that as many people as possible get vaccinated. I strongly believe that vaccines save lives.
Today, we are here to welcome another delivery of vaccines from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. This is a vaccine I received myself. The United Kingdom has one of the most successful vaccination programmes in the world, and this British vaccine is at its core. A recent study by the English Institute of Public Health shows that this vaccination programme has saved over 11,000 lives in my country alone.
She congratulated Montenegro on the speed and development of its own immunization programme, which also prevents COVID-19-related deaths.
“I am proud that the British government, as one of the largest and first contributors to COVAX and the investor behind the science of the vaccine, contributed to Montenegro’s efforts to combat the pandemic,” said the British Ambassador.
The COVAX mechanism is a global partnership aimed at providing everyone with equal access to COVID-19 vaccines. It is run by Gavi – the Global Vaccine Alliance – the WHO and CEPI, while UNICEF is in charge of transporting the vaccines globally. The United States is providing a significant contribution to this partnership as the largest donor to the COVAX mechanism globally. When it comes to Montenegro, the generous support of the EU Delegation is helping Montenegro and its partners to prepare for an efficient vaccination process and to strengthen the public health system in Montenegro during the pandemic.