Some 10,000 COVID vaccine doses were delivered by the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday out of the total of 214,000 doses that the country will receive through August.
The doses of Pfizer vaccines were delivered in a ceremony at the Sarajevo International Airport attended by European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, Chairman of Bosnia’s Council of Ministers Zoran Tegeltija, and Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic.
“This is a big day and this shows that we care about this region, we care about Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the next leg of our common journey, hopefully, out of the pandemic,” commissioner Varhelyi said addressing a press conference.
He said the first delivery of the vaccines against coronavirus that were delivered today will help in the vaccination of health workers, those in the front lines.
“This is a security for them and this is a security for the population of the entire country,” Varhelyi stressed.
“And we are here to deliver all 651,000 doses to the entire region, BiH will receive over 200,000 only through this scheme. Together with the COVAX initiative, where EU is the biggest donor still, we are delivering almost one million doses of vaccines to the entire region,” he said and thanked the Austrian government for taking care of the delivery procedures.
Austrian FM said that the fact he and Commissioner Varhelyi were here in person today “is a very clear signal you can count on us.”
Pointing out the importance of having the vaccination process started in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he noted that there are more than 200,000 citizens of Austria with a family background in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so “Your interest and your safety is our interest and our safety.”
Chairman Tegeltija announced that Bosnia will receive four deliveries with 45,000 vaccine doses during May, one per week.
“These vaccines were procured through so-called EU system which means that the EU secured significant amount for BIH, some 13 million and 750 thousand euros. We get the vaccines from the EU member states for that money, those that were approved by the European Medicines Agency,” he added.