COVAX delivers 24,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to Montenegro

Vaccination is one of our major tickets for returning to normal life and socio-economic recovery.

Podgorica, 28 March 2021

24,000 AstraZeneca vaccines have arrived to Montenegro today thanks to the Ministry of Health’s procurement of these vaccines through COVAX. This is the first batch and more is on the way. All vaccines procured within COVAX are cleared by the WHO as the leading UN organisation in regards to vaccine safety.

Minister of Health Jelena Borovinić Bojović said this shipment is the first contingent from the COVAX initiative out of total of 84,000 doses that will arrive in Montenegro.

She expressed gratitude to the British Ambassador Keren Maddox, the EU delegation and the EU Ambassador to Montenegro Oana Kristina Popa, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and all others who, as she said, made an immeasurable contribution to the arrival of this vaccine in Montenegro.

“This is just another proof of great solidarity and sincere friendship with all European Union countries, which in this way have significantly contributed to the vaccination process in Montenegro. I once again appeal and ask all citizens to respond to the call for vaccination and not to forget that respecting epidemiological measures is the first and basic rule in preserving both personal health and the health of our citizens,” said Borovinić Bojović.

I once again appeal and ask all citizens to respond to the call for vaccination

 

Jelena Borovinić Bojović, Minister of Health of Montenegro

COVAX is a mechanism available to every country, through which they can equitably access COVID-19 vaccines approved by WHO as quickly as possible. This global round of COVAX allocation includes delivery of 237 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine cleared by WHO and European Medicine Agency to more than 130 countries, one of which is Montenegro.

The Head of the Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Montenegro, Dr. Mina Brajović, said that this shipment was yet another confirmation and reminder that the only path of fighting the pandemic is the path of cooperation, solidarity and science.

“In recent months, the WHO has provided support to Montenegro, together with partners, to prepare for the important step - from vaccine to vaccination. The WHO welcomes the efforts of the Government of Montenegro in terms of careful planning and comprehensive preparations. As a strategic partner, the WHO had the privilege of providing support in this important process, including the training of health workers and the development of a National Vaccination Plan,” said Dr Brajović emphasizing that more than 20 million doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine have been administered in Europe and that the WHO and the European Medicines Agency have confirmed that the vaccine is safe, effective.

WHO and partners have been supporting Montenegro to prepare for the important step - from vaccine to vaccination

 

Mina Brajović, Head of the Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Montenegro

COVAX has engaged UNICEF to distribute all the COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, because UNICEF is the largest distributer of vaccines in the world, procuring more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunization.

According to UNICEF Montenegro Representative Juan Santander thanks to science, we now have two complimentary ways to fight against the pandemic and return to normal life. One is to respect the #DistanceHandsMask measures, and the other is to get vaccinated. Both together will decrease the infection rate, keep high-risk groups safe, and allow all Montenegrin children and young people to safely attend preschools, schools and after-school activities and spend time with their peers again, Santander pointed out. 

Thanks to science, we now have two complimentary ways to fight against the pandemic and return to normal life.

 

Juan Santander, UNICEF Montenegro Representative

The UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro Peter Lundberg pointed out the importance of efforts of all actors in providing vaccines to the people of Montenegro.

“Vaccination is one of our major tickets for returning to normal life and socio-economic recovery. Only together can we make vaccination possible and ensure that vaccines reach all and in this effort the role of each actor is critical. In this regard I would like to thank our sister agencies UNICEF and WHO for their continuous support to the country, but also to praise the Government for the prioritization and strong commitment to provide vaccinas for people of Montenegro,” said Mr Lundberg.

Only together can we make vaccination possible and ensure that vaccines reach all.

 

Peter Lundberg, UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro

COVAX Facility is a global partnership to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. It is led by Gavi - a global Vaccine Alliance, WHO and CEPI with UNICEF leading the efforts to procure and supply the vaccines. The USA and EU are the largest donors to COVAX globally contributing significantly to this partnership. In Montenegro, the EU Delegation’s generous support is also enabling the government and partners to be ready for effective vaccine deployment and to strengthen Montenegro’s public health system during the pandemic

UN entities involved in this initiative
RCO
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
WHO
World Health Organization