COVAX shipped 23,400 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, from USA to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina arriving on the morning of 25.03.2021. In addition, a shipment of Astra Zeneca vaccine is expected to arrive on the same day, as announced by the Minister of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Ankica Gudeljević. “More specifically tonight we expect additional 26,400 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine. Being aware of the fact the health workers are completely exhausted, I want to believe, those vaccines, we have ordered long ago, will arrive as soon as possible and reach the priority groups, which is essential to improve epidemiological situation in the country. I wish you all more strength, patience and above all to stay healthy.”, said Minister Gudeljević.
The United Nations in BiH congratulates the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina – especially the Ministry of Civil Affairs – and reiterates its commitment to support all efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
This shipment will be distributed to Public Health Institutes in Mostar, Banja Luka and Brcko District Health Center. The diluents for the vaccines were already distributed to those institutions, as well as UNICEF procured ultra-cold chain refrigerators for storage.
As vaccines start to roll out around the world, they should complement, and not replace, proven public health measures. BiH must also continue to apply tried-and-tested measures to successfully prevent and control transmission, such as physical distancing, masks, and hand hygiene, alongside robust programmes to test, isolate, trace and quarantine.
“Safe and effective vaccines will contribute to the fight against COVID-19 because vaccines help save lives. It will take time to reach and vaccinate every eligible person but when your turn comes, make a difference, and get vaccinated: protect yourself and your loved ones. ” said Dr. Fabio Scano, WHO Country Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“As health and education workers and other front-line staff are being vaccinated and protected, we will be able to progressively see a return to routine and focus on reimagining health, social, child protection and education for every child.” said Dr. Rownak Khan, UNICEF Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina joined COVAX as a self-financing country. The authorities had the foresight to ensure that those people who are at most risk and most vulnerable – especially health and other front-line workers, the elderly and people with co-morbidities – would have access to the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in the history of the world. COVID-19 is a global problem and COVAX is a global solution. It will ultimately benefit billions of people across the world.”, said Dr. Ingrid Macdonald, United Nations Resident Coordinator in BiH.
The United Nations recognizes the ground-breaking global collaboration underpinning COVAX, made possible by the generous support of many partners, including the European Union, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States amongst others.
The COVAX initiative is co-led by GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), alongside its key delivering partner UNICEF.