The Albanian government has officially announced that it has paved the way for negotiations regarding the provision of Russian and Chinese vaccines. According to the normative act announced on Thursday, Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu and Minister of State for Reconstruction Arben Ahmetaj are the officials authorized for the negotiations.
The normative act states that negotiations take place on vaccines which have been certified by the certification body at the place of their production.
Pursuant to Article 101 of the Albanian Constitution, on the proposal of the Minister of Health and Social Protection and the Minister of State for Reconstruction, the Council of Ministers decided as follows:
"Granting the authorization to the Minister of Health and Social Protection and the Minister of State for Reconstruction to conduct negotiations with manufacturers, authorized distributors, governments or institutions authorized by them of countries that produce or distribute anticovid vaccines, to ensure these vaccines, which are certified by the certification body at the place of their production."
Such a decision comes at a time when the pandemic is out of control in Albania and particularly after PM Edi Rama has failed in his imaginary efforts to get vaccines from Western suppliers. There has also been a mounting pressure by medical experts to get Russian and Chinese vaccines in face of the total shortages of other supplies. In the meantime Albania will hold general elections on April 25 and the further aggravation of the pandemic would cost very much to Rama's drive to get a third mandate.
Since January 11, when the first vaccination started, 20,911 vaccinations have been performed in Albania so far.
"So far, only 665 individuals or 0.02% of the population have been vaccinated with the full dose. The vaccine used, which is the only one approved, is Pfizer / BioNTech, where the first doses were provided by an anonymous donation, while subsequent doses were distributed as a result of the government contract with Pfizer," said Open Data Albania on Thursday.
Dr. Artan Koni, one of the most outstanding supporters of opening up to Russian and Chinese vaccines, recalls that he has been recommending Russian and Chinese vaccines for 6 months in a row and welcomes this decision, although delayed.
Speaking on a local TV on Thursday he put 3 questions: why the normative act does not mention EMA at all, knowing that Rama has stated that he does not receive uncertified vaccines from this European institution, do the members of the Technical Committee feel sorry for this loss time and is there anyone who feels morally responsible for the lives that could have been saved if these vaccines had been provided earlier.
"Right triumphs over injustice, the moral responsibility we have towards our people defeats every political interest of the moment!!" Dr. Koni concluded. /argumentum.al