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"Everyone will be able to choose their vaccine": Russian Sputnik V arrives in Serbia


2,400 doses have arrived

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The first shipment of the Russian vaccine against coronavirus Sputnik V arrived in Serbia today, and a little before noon it was delivered to the Torlak Institute for Virology, Vaccines and Serums in Belgrade.

State Secretary in the Ministry of Health Mirsad Djerlek said that 2,400 doses of this vaccine had arrived, and explained that citizens would be able to choose which vaccine they want to receive.

"We are at the end of 2020, a difficult year in which we have constantly led and continue to fight against the scourge that is Covid 19. In the end, we have very good news. This is an important day for Serbia. I think that we are the only country in Europe and maybe in the world that has two vaccines from different manufacturers and with different effects. One is American, which is already in use, and today we received 2,400 Sputnik V Russian vaccines. They are different in their type of action. The first is an RNA vaccine and this one is based on adenovirus. What they have in common is that both are of good quality and give good results."

"The state has shown great responsibility towards the citizens. We have fulfilled what we promised. We now have two 'strong trump cards' to take on Covid 19 more seriously and start living normally. I would appeal on all citizens, both as a person and as a doctor, to respond en masse to the vaccination. The vaccine is the only tool that can help us in this difficult fight," said Djerlek.

He added that a new contingent of Pfizer vaccines will arrive on January 4.

"78,000 doses should arrive in January, 98,000 in February and 114,000 in March. As for the use of Sputnik V, we expect to get a permit in two or three days, so it will be possible to use it after the New Year," said Djerlek.

In the second half of January, large scale vaccination can be expected, primarily of healthcare workers.

"We are also expecting the Chinese vaccine. In ALIMS (Serbian drugs agency), they say that it's a matter of days before they receive the paperwork for it as well," said Djerlek.

According to him, everyone will be able to choose which vaccine to receive.

"It's extremely important that all vaccines are free. I would not like the story to be spreading about which one is of better quality. Everything is safe. A choice can be made, but it all depends on whether they are in stock. If someone is interested in Sputnik V and it is not in stock, they will have to wait for it. But, in any case, the state will ensure that the vaccine is chosen," Djerlek explained.

The vaccine was, according to all procedures, delivered in a cold chain.

Minister of Health Zlatibor Loncar said yesterday that the testing of the Russian vaccine at the Agency for Drugs and Medical Devices (ALIMS) is nearing the end and that it is expected to be completed in the first days of the New Year.

Vaccination against coronavirus with the vaccine produced by Pfizer and Bionteck started in Serbia on December 24.

The first to receive it was Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, followed by Minister Darija Kisic Tepavcevic, and then Dr. Predrag Kon.

Vaccination was then continued in gerontological centers in Serbia.

In addition to these two vaccines, the Chinese one should also arrive in Serbia.


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