About 10,000 people were vaccinated against Covid-19 on the first day of mass inoculation in Montenegro on Tuesday, which is 1.5 percent of the population, the country's Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
The Montenegrin health authorities say that Montenegro thus set a European record in terms of the number of doses administered in a single day in relation to the population size. According to available information, until now the record was held by Germany, which inoculated 1 million people in a single day, or 1.2 percent of its population.
“This is a success for the whole country,” Health Minister, Jelena Borovinic-Bojovic, said.
The mass vaccination campaign began on Tuesday after 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine arrived from China over the weekend.
The first 2,000 doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, donated by the European Union, arrived on Tuesday and are intended for priority groups, including medical workers and serious chronic patients. The EU is due to donate a total of 42,000 doses of this vaccine to Montenegro by the end of August.
So far, Montenegro has used Russian and Chinese vaccines as well as 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, purchased through the Covax programme.
The number of active coronavirus cases in the country has plunged after the authorities imposed tight restrictions in mid-March, closing schools, hospitality establishments, gyms and shopping centres. As a result, in less than five weeks the number of active cases was reduced from about 10,000 to slightly over 2,000.
Montenegro eased the epidemiological measures in mid-April, keeping in place the obligation to wear face masks outdoors, the ban on public gatherings and the curfew between midnight and 5am.
In the last two days, the daily number of new cases fell below 100 for the first time this year.