WORLD / EUROPE
Serbian president receives Chinese COVID-19 vaccine and is ‘feeling great’
Published: Apr 06, 2021 06:57 PM
Photo: VCG

 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine made by Chinese producer Sinopharm on Tuesday. He later said he felt good after the shot and encouraged more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, China Central Television reported.

A live TV broadcast showed that 51-year-old Vucic received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinopharm at the health post in the village of Rudna Glava, in Majdanpek, eastern Serbia.

"I received the vaccine and I feel great," Vucic said on his Instagram page. "Thank you, our great health workers. Thank you, our Chinese brothers."

A day before Vucic's vaccination, the fourth batch of Sinopharm inactivated vaccine purchased by Serbia arrived in Belgrade by a special plane. The Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, welcomed the shipment at the Airport on Monday. She expressed her gratitude to China for providing Serbia with the vaccine saying this validates once again the partnership between the two countries.

On January 19, Serbia started its national vaccination campaign to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. The first three batches of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines reached Serbia on January 16, February 10 and March 5 respectively, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Associated Press noted that Serbia has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 vaccination in Europe, largely thanks to the government's massive purchase of the Sinopharm vaccine from China.

Sinopharm also said in March that it would help Serbia produce its vaccine locally and provide higher quality Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment products and services, making Serbia the first European country to manufacture the Chinese vaccine.

At present, countries in Europe are busy curbing a surge in COVID-19 cases and ramping up vaccination efforts in hope of avoiding hospitals being overwhelmed by the latest wave of the deadly infection. Now they are caught between a rock and a hard place as they plan to reopen after the Easter holiday.   

Serbia has confirmed a total of 625,773 COVID-19 cases and 5,537 deaths as of Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

So far, a number of heads of government, including Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Seychelles President, Wavel Ramkalawan, Chilean President, Sebastian Pinera, and Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, have been vaccinated with the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine. Experts point out that China's COVID-19 vaccine has contributed to the steady progress of mass vaccination in many countries around the world, which is crucial to prevent and control the epidemic.

 
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