Serbia Leads Region in Expecting COVID-19 Vaccines Within Days

The first doses of the vaccine made by the Pfizer and BioNtech companies will arrive in Serbia this week, Pavle Zelic, from the Serbia's Agency for Medicines, said on Monday.

He said the agency had approved the quality and safety of the vaccines made by the two companies, and Serbia expected to get its first doses by the end of this week. "We can be satisfied with the results of our examinations of the vaccine," Zelic said on Monday.

The agency has approved 20,475 doses of the vaccines - but 5,000 doses are expected to arrive in the first tranche this week, according to the Health Minister, Zlatibor Loncar, in a statement from December 18.

Turkey is also expecting the first vaccines to be delivered soon through a bilateral agreement with a Chinese manufacturer.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said vaccinations will start in the last week of December or in the first days of January. "The vaccine from China will arrive in few days, and then there is a procedural a process which will last a few days," Koca said on December 20.

Turkey purchased 50 million doses of China's CoronaVac vaccine, but the first shipment will have 3 million doses. Minister Koca announced on December 17 that Turkey will also buy vaccines from the United Kingdom, but the date of delivery is still unknown.

Most other countries in the Balkans are relying specifically on the COVAX system, launched in April by the World Health Organisation, WHO, the European Commission and France to provide access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.

The EU's drug regulator, the Amsterdam-based European Medicines Agency, EMA, will decide on Monday whether to authorise the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The EMA has said that if a decision is not...

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