North Macedonia receives first batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines

The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S.

North Macedonia on Sunday got the first batch of 24,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines out of a total 100,000 that are expected to arrive through the COVAX system by April.

North Macedonian Health Minister Venko Filipce, accompanied by the U.S. and EU ambassadors, welcomed the vaccine shipment at the country’s main airport near the capital Skopje.

He said the first 20,000 people to be immunized are over 75s and the chronically ill. The vaccination process will start Wednesday.

The tiny Balkan country began inoculations a month ago with about 11,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Russian Sputnic V vaccines for medical workers.

At least 4,000 vaccine-seekers from North Macedonia flocked to neighboring Serbia on Saturday after Serbian authorities offered foreigners free coronavirus jabs.

North Macedonia has recorded more than 126,000 coronavirus cases and more than 3,600 deaths.

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