First batch of AstraZeneca vaccine arrives in North Macedonia

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SKOPJE, March 28 (Xinhua) — The first batch of 24,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrived at the Skopje International Airport on Sunday, Health Minister Venko Filipce said.

Filipce, who welcomed the shipment at the airport together with representatives of foreign embassies in the country, declared that around 20,000 elderly people over the age of 70 who suffer from chronic diseases will be inoculated first.

Filipce thanked foreign representatives for the assistance provided in the transport of the vaccines, which are part of COVAX, a global vaccine equity mechanism.

According to Filipce, the vaccines will first be stored in the capital city of Skopje and later will be distributed across the country.

The minister said that an additional shipment of 76,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to arrive in the country through the COVAX mechanism by the end of April.

To date, according to the Health Ministry, the total tally of coronavirus cases in North Macedonia amounts to 126,230, with 104,345 recoveries and 3,642 fatalities.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 267 candidate vaccines are still being developed globally — 83 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on March 23. Enditem

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