Thousands of citizens from the region headed to Belgrade after Serbian authorities during this weekend offered free vaccines for foreigners. Long lines formed with visitors from Bosnia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, who were often present with their entire families, in the Serbian capital.
Critics of the populist Serbian president, Aleksandar Vuçiç say that he is trying to stretch his influence on the region and to clean his ultra-nationalistic image.
Others say that the AstraZeneca shots being administered for foreigners are near their expiry date and need to be used as soon as possible; a claim that can’t be officially verified.
“In Northern Macedonia, we don’t have any vaccines. I came here to get the vaccine. We are grateful because here we can get the injection sooner than back home,” said a North Macedonian citizen.
On Sunday, Northern Macedonia received the first group of AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX initiative. A batch of 24.000 doses arrived in the main airport of the capital, Skopje.
“A plane from Ankara arrived at the airport of Sarajevo, through which a batch of 30.000 vaccines produced by Sinovac was donated from Turkey.
Massive vaccination has started in our country with the Chinese vaccine ‘Sinovac’. Hundreds of citizens over 70 gathered in ‘Skanderbeg’ square in order to get the first dose. In total 65.000 medical personnel and well as teaching staff have been inoculated in our country, in the ages 80+.