In accordance with the expressed needs of the BiH entities and the Brcko District, 1,232,000 doses of vaccines were ordered through the COVAX mechanism, and the needs of the entities for the 892,000 doses within the EU procurement mechanism were expressed, the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina said.
During the expression of these first procurement needs within the EU mechanism, the vaccine Biontech-Pfizer and Moderna manufacturers were primarily considered. The Biontech-Pfizer vaccine received the necessary approvals from the European Medicines Agency, while approval for Moderna vaccines is expected in mid-January.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the first allocations are for EU member states, while the exact number of doses for each of the allocations for the Western Balkans will be defined in the European Commission guidelines expected in January.
When it comes to the procurement of vaccines under the COVAX mechanism, after Bosnia and Herzegovina receives information on the precise deadlines and type of vaccines to be distributed, the entities and the Brcko District will take further implementation activities.
Based on the consent of the Presidency of BiH and the Council of Ministers of BiH, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, exclusively respecting the constitutional competencies and expressed needs of the competent authorities of the entities and Brčko District, signed the Agreement on Accession to the COVAX Mechanism and coordinated EU accession to vaccines.
“Taking into account these facts, in no case are there any remarks about the lack of coordination and communication at this extremely important moment for all residents of BiH,” stated the Ministry.
Coordinating with the competent ministries, the need for procurement was not expressed through direct negotiations with vaccine manufacturers, as the view was that the priority should be the safety of the purchased vaccine guaranteed by COVAX and the EU procurement mechanism.
Respecting the legal regulations, the procurement of medicines and vaccines is the responsibility of the entities, and the Ministry of Civil Affairs does not make decisions independently.
At the session held on December 29, at the initiative of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Council of Ministers of BiH adopted a decision on approving funds in the amount of two million KM for the payment of dependent costs for the purchase of the vaccine.