Editor's note/ Is Albania in Search of Other Alternatives for Anti-Covid Vaccines?

"I believe the words of Kemal Ataturk go best who said that 'humanity is a single body and every nation is part of this organism'," has said Prime Minister Edi Rama in a virtual communication with the Committee of Experts of Albania and the Scientific Committee of Turkey on measures to cope with the pandemic.

In his remarks on Thursday, the head of government praised Turkey as one of the vanguard countries in facing the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, which, as he said, found unprepared highly developed countries.

Rama expressed his appreciation for the experts of the Technical Committee of Albania, emphasizing that they have nothing lacking in recommendations and their work by experts from more developed countries.

Prof. Recep Öztürk, member of the Scientific Committee of the Pandemic of the Republic of Turkey, praised the measures taken and the strategy followed to cope with the COVID 19 pandemic in Albania.

"When we landed in Albania, we also met with the members of the Albanian working group. We exchanged different ideas and opinions, we saw all the measures taken in relation to the fight against COVID-19. And I want to congratulate you," he said.

Further on Prof. Öztürk stressed that Albania enjoys a health system that already responds to national conventions and has a good situation.

According to so far reports no mention was  made during the virtual meeting on the emergency issue of vaccines as Albania is in a situation when there is no concrete accord on getting them soon. The scheme Covax to which Albania is a party does not provide rapid response to the emergent need leaving blurred option of a timetable after six months or later.

However Deputy Health Minister Mira Rakacolli gave assurances in a  TV talk show on Wednesday evening that a sufficient supply of vaccines will be available within the three first months of 2021 to vacinate medical staff and vulnerable segments of the society. Rakacolli, who is head of the Committee of Experts, quoted many times a pledge on the issue made by PM Rama after returning from the US trip.

However the DP senior official, Tritan Shehu, a former health minister, retorted in that TV talk, show that Rama is cheating on Albanians.

One thing seems clear: Albania doesn't have any specific accord on the western vaccines, but Rama is aware that in addition to the sensitivity of the situation which is getting from bad to worse general elections are next April.

Is the gentlemen's behavior of maverick Rama towards an experts delegation from Turkey a signal that he has cast his glance at other alternatives for vaccines while evidence shows that he has ignored higher level delegations from time to time?

The quotation by the government head of Kemal Ataturk's saying against this gloomy background of Albania and the world in general cannot be incidental. In the hard times of last spring as pandemic was in its first unknown course the 'plan 4' of Rama referred to Turkey!


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