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The European countries caught in a vaccine no man's land

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 19.7%. 2 min read.

TIRANA, Jan. 11, 2021 -- A health worker receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Air Albania stadium in Tirana, Albania, Jan. 11, 2021. Ten months after the report of the first COVID-19 cases, Albania on Monday started to vaccinate its residents against the disease. Fifty health workers in the capital Tirana received their vaccinations on Monday. (Photo by Gent Onuzi/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Gent Onuzi via Getty Images)

As the United Kingdom celebrates giving at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine to 15 million people and the EU surpasses 23 million doses distributed, several other European countries have not yet managed to put a single shot in arms.

(CNN)As the United Kingdom celebrates giving at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine to 15 million people and the EU surpasses 23 million doses distributed, several other European countries have not yet managed to put a single shot in arms.

The EU has secured more than 2. 3 billion doses of various coronavirus vaccines and said it expects to share some of those with others.

Faced with the possibility of a long wait, Serbia, the largest of the six Western Balkan countries, took matters into its own hands and looked for vaccines elsewhere.

The Serbian government said China has so far supplied it with 1. 5 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, catapulting the country of 7 million to the top ranks of the global vaccination race.

Kosovo has ordered over 100,000 doses of the vaccine from COVAX and is expecting deliveries from the EU as part of the €70 million scheme.

The Serbian government also said it donated some of its doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to the Republika Srpska -- one of the two highly autonomous entities that form Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The government of the country's Bosniak-Croat entity, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said it ordered 800,000 doses through the EU scheme.

Albania has secured 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine via a direct contract with the company, although according to the government, less than 10,000 have been delivered so far -- not enough to vaccinate the country's 23,000 health care workers.

If this region is to be integrated -- and it is de facto integrated in the EU already, because we have free movement and we have a lot of people traveling back and forth, in practical terms -- it makes no sense for the EU not to provide the region with vaccines," she said, highlighting that having low vaccination rates in neighboring countries would represent a risk to the EU.

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