UNICEF Senior Health Consultant Dr Begic and British Ambassador receive Astra Zeneca vaccine

Vaccination is the only key to overcoming the pandemic

UNICEF Montenegro
UNICEF Montenegro’s Senior Health Consultant Dr Senad Begic and British Ambassador to Montenegro Karen Maddocks
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2021
28 May 2021

PODGORICA, 28 MAY 2021 – UNICEF Montenegro’s Senior Health Consultant Dr Senad Begic and British Ambassador to Montenegro Karen Maddocks today received their second dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine after receiving the first one in April.

UNICEF Montenegro Senior Health Consultant Dr Senad Begic
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2021
Dr Senad Begic, UNICEF Montenegro Senior Health Consultant receiving his second dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine, in Podgorica, in May, 2021.

As many people know, myself and my family – we trust the vaccines and I am very delighted to have received my second vaccination today. The science is clear, as are the key public health agencies and institutions – this vaccine is effective at preventing the things we fear the most: hospitalizations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and deaths due to COVID-19. The most common side-effects are usually mild or moderate and clear up within a few days. The most serious side-effects that many people are talking about are extremely rare cases of unusual blood clots with low blood platelet levels, which are estimated to occur in 1 in 100,000 vaccinated people. That type of risk is extremely low and if I am to be that one Montenegrin who will experience serious side-effects, then let me be – that is the risk I am willing to take every single day. I want to thank everyone who is involved in the vaccination campaign — and everyone who is getting vaccinated, because vaccination is the only key to overcoming the pandemic.

Dr Senad Begic, UNICEF Montenegro Senior Health Consultant

The Astra Zeneca vaccine has successfully passed through rigorous procedures of control by the World Health Organization, European Medicines Agency (EMA), the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Japan’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency and many others. So far, more than 400 million doses have been distributed in 165 countries of the world and around one quarter of the doses have already been administered.

British Ambassador to Montenegro Karen Maddocks also received her second dose of Astra Zeneca today..

Karen Maddocks, British Ambassador to Montenegro
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2021
Karen Maddocks, British Ambassador to Montenegro receiving her second dose of Astra Zeneca, in Podgorica, in May, 2021.

“I feel privileged to have access to this vaccine, approved by the EU, UK and WHO medical regulatory agencies.  The Oxford University/Astra Zeneca vaccine is the biggest component of the UK’s vaccination programme, and in research published this month by Public Health England, we saw that over 11,000 lives have been saved in the UK as a result of the vaccination programme there. So, we know it works.  Vaccination will open the doors and allow us live our lives more fully againi.

Karen Maddocks, British Ambassador to Montenegro

UNICEF Montenegro Representative Juan Santander has recently received the second dose of Astra Zeneca. According to Santander, it is essential that all of us who can, do take the vaccine.

By vaccinating ourselves, we are protecting ourselves and the people around us; we are supporting children to go to school normally again and parents to get back jobs and income. If you have any concerns about your own personal risk of taking Astra Zeneca vaccine, it’s ok, please check with a health expert.

Juan Santander, the UNICEF Montenegro Representative

48,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine have been delivered to Montenegro so far thanks to the procurement of the Ministry of Health within the COVAX mechanism, a global partnership aimed at providing everyone with equal access to vaccines against COVID-19. COVAX is led by GAVI – a global Vaccine Alliance, WHO and CEPI with UNICEF leading the efforts to procure and supply the vaccines. UNICEF is the largest distributer of vaccines in the world, procuring more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunization.