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North Macedonia Receives 500,000 Chinese-Made Sinovac Vaccine Doses

Workers at a vaccination center in Skopje. North Macedonia.
Workers at a vaccination center in Skopje. North Macedonia.

North Macedonia received 500,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine on June 27, allowing the Balkan nation to expand its COVID-19 immunization campaign.

Health Minister Venko Filipce said that, in the coming weeks, vaccinations will be accelerated throughout the nation.

The 500,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived at the main airport in Skopje on two planes.

North Macedonia received another shipment of more than 100,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines through the COVAX scheme on June 26.

The small Balkan nation began its vaccination campaign in earnest in May after it received 200,000 doses of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine and a smaller amount of Pfizer-BioNTech shots.

Nearly 25 percent of the country’s 2.1 million people have been vaccinated with at least one dose of a vaccine so far, helping to keep COVID-19 infections low in recent weeks.

The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier in June approved Sinovac for emergency use, a development that means it can be bought by donors and the UN-backed initiative COVAX initiative. The WHO also gave the same seal of approval to Sinopharm.

The Sinovac vaccine efficacy results showed that the shot prevented symptomatic disease in 51 percent of those vaccinated and prevented severe COVID-19 and hospitalization in 100 percent of cases.

However, the European Medicines Agency has not approved Chinese-made vaccines.

China has used millions of doses of both its main vaccines domestically and has exported them to many countries, particularly in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

With reporting by AP

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