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The Prime Minister of Serbia is the first European Prime Minister to receive the anti-covid vaccine

Belgrade, December 24, 2020

                          

Today, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, received the first vaccine against the coronavirus of the company "Pfizer" at the Institute for Virology, Vaccines and Serums "Torlak".

Brnabic, who is the first European Prime Minister to receive the vaccine, pointed out that today may be the first day since March 6 to have a reason to smile because it marks the beginning of the end of the pandemic in Serbia, but also in Europe and the world.

As the Prime Minister and someone who leads the Crisis Staff for the Protection of Public Health from COVID-19, I felt obliged to be the first to receive the vaccine to show that we believe in it, but also in our institutions - the Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices of Serbia and experts who worked day and night to check the vaccine, she said.

The Prime Minister, emphasizing that she is honored to do something like this for the country and to be the first to open the way for all citizens, conveyed that she reached an agreement with the President of the Republic Aleksandar Vučić on the two of them receiving different vaccines, and he will most likely receive the next one to arrive, most likely Chinese.

According to her, at this moment we have the vaccine of the "Pfizer-Biontek" consortium, and those from the Chinese "Sinofarm" are expected in the near future, as well as certain quantities of the Russian "Sputnik V".

She expressed her belief that at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second, we will have the vaccine of the company "Astra-Zeneka", and after that the "Modernina".

As we promised, citizens will have at their disposal all vaccines that have permits in their countries and approvals of relevant international agencies, and of course all our agencies and institutes will pass, the Prime Minister pointed out.

According to her, before the start of vaccination of health workers, the vaccine will be received by the Minister of Health, Zlatibor Lončar, because we are trying to be an example and show that we are safe in vaccines and institutions.

Brnabic pointed out that Serbia, not counting Great Britain, is the first country in Europe to receive the "Pfizer-Biontek" vaccine, and the third to start mass immunization and a campaign for giving the vaccine - after Great Britain and Switzerland.

We have done a great thing and we will not stop at any moment until the immunization of the population is completed, the Prime Minister said.

She specified that our country will receive another 16,000 doses of vaccine from the "Pfizer-Biontek" consortium in January, as well as that together with other vaccines we will have a total of one million doses in January, and a total of approximately two million doses during the first quarter.

We have the dynamics of deliveries of "Pfizer" vaccines and as their production varies, so does the delivery not only to Serbia, but also to all countries of the world. We expected 10,000 doses from "Pfizer-Biontek" in December, and 4,870 doses arrived, the Prime Minister explained.

"Serbia has shown that it can fight and succeed in that if everyone works as a team," Brnabic said, and still appealed to everyone not to understand the beginning of vaccination as if the fight was over immediately, but to continue to respect all measures.

Let's be safe and help health workers, so in 2021 we will slowly take off our masks when immunity is gained, and until then we should see this not as a victory, but as the beginning of the end, the Prime Minister concluded.

After the Prime Minister, the vaccine was received by the Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs and a member of the Crisis Staff for the Protection of Public Health from Infectious Diseases COVID-19 Darija Kisić Tepavčević, as well as a member of the Crisis Staff Predrag Kon.

The vaccine was received by an epidemiologist and the head of the Department for Prevention and Control of Nosocomial Infections of the Military Medical Academy, Prof. Dr. Vesna Šuljagić, as well as academician Predrag Peško, professor at the Universities of Belgrade and Heidelberg and a regular member of SANU.

The first quantities of the vaccine arrived in Serbia on December 22, and today they will be received by the users of old people's homes in Belgrade and Novi Sad.

Serbia is the first country in the region to receive the "Pfizer-Biontek" vaccine.

In addition to the procurement of vaccines among the first countries in the world, even before the EU countries, Serbia is one of the few countries that built and opened two Kovid hospitals in record time. Hospitals with a capacity of 930 places in Batajnica, ie 500 places in Krusevac, greatly contribute to increasing the capacity and strengthening the health system in the fight against the corona virus and practically, according to President Vučić, represent a monument of the future and speak of actions taken by the state in a short time.

Also, as a reminder, investments in health infrastructure in Serbia were large, and since 2016, 80 health centers and dispensaries have been renovated, and work is underway on six large health centers. Thus, more than 200 million euros have been invested in the renovation, construction and equipping of hospitals and more than 300 million in the renovation of clinics and specialized hospitals, and many works have already been completed, such as the University Children's Clinic Tirsova, KBC Zemun, KBC "Dragisa Misovic" .

The absolute priority of the Government of Serbia is the successful completion of the started health infrastructure projects, but great attention is also paid to health workers, whose salaries have been increased by 2020 by 56.8% to specialist doctors, 66.9% nurses, and significant funds are invested in the education of health personnel, as well as in the equipment and conditions in which they work.

Like other countries, Serbia faced great challenges this year, primarily health, and all factors in the country were focused on preventing the spread of the virus and preserving the lives and health of citizens. Serbia has faced these challenges better than many richer and more developed countries in Europe and the world.


 


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