Bosnia begins vaccinating with Russia’s Sputnik V jab
Bosnia started vaccinating against the novel coronavirus on Friday, using Russia’s Sputnik V jab, but only medical staff will be inoculated for now, given the small supplies available.
Bosnia is now the third Western Balkan nation to begin vaccinating against Covid-19, after Serbia and Albania.
In the region, European Union member Croatia has also started vaccinating.
“We have been waiting for the vaccine for nearly a year and I trust it,” said Vlado Djajic, the head of a hospital in the northern town of Banja Luka, who was the first to receive the jab.
The Balkan nation of 3.5 million people has registered 5,000 Covid-19 deaths so far.
More than 125,00 cases have been registered, but testing is not yet widespread, with patients with serious symptoms mainly targeted so far.
Bosnia, namely its Serb-run half of Republika Srpska, received 2,000 doses of the Russian vaccine.
An additional 200,000 are expected by the end of the month and 200,000 more in March, according to the authorities.
Since the 1990s war, Bosnia consists of the highly-autonomous entities — Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation.
The government hopes to receive 200,000 Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines in mid-February through the United Nations’ Covax programme, set up to ensure fair access to lower-income nations.
Bosnia ordered 1.2 million doses of jabs through Covax and nearly 900,000 through the EU.