After several delays, Bosnia and Herzegovina received on Thursday the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines it purchased through the COVAX system. The delivery contains 23,400 Pfizer/BioNTech doses, while the second shipment is expected later during the day.
Bosnia purchased the total of 1,232,000 vaccine doses through COVAX and depending on availability, the mechanism will be sending the doses and producers it has at disposal.
According to Ankica Gudeljevic, the Civil Affairs Minister, later during the day, Bosnia will receive 26,400 AstraZeneca vaccines.
“The vaccines that arrived will be forwarded to entities and Brcko District as soon as the customs finish the procedures. We already compiled the documentation for the customs to do its job and release the vaccines from the airport as soon as possible,” said the minister.
She said that the arrival of the remaining part of vaccines that Bosnia purchased is not known yet but that she expects larger quantities during the next month already.
— Adisa Imamovic (@adisa_imamovic) March 25, 2021
Bosnian authorities initiated the purchase of vaccines through COVAX in July last year and signed the contract with this mechanism on September 12. For this purpose, Bosnia's two entities – the Federation and Republika Srpska, as well as Brcko District, allocated some 13 million USD, and the purchased quantity is intended for immunisation of some 20 percent of the population.
European Union's Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina Johann Sattler attended the delivery ceremony at the Sarajevo International Airport, noting that this is an important day for Bosnia, the second country in the region that received the Covid vaccines through COVAX.
“There would be no COVAX without generous donations of donors, primarily the European Commission and the EU member states such as Germany, which secured over 2.2 billion euro for this purpose,” he said, adding that this shipment is a gleam of hope and crucial moment for the start of the mass immunisation process.