The statement of Fadil Novalic, the Federal Prime Minister that the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) purposely did not rush the procurement of coronavirus vaccines caused disbelief and many reactions in the public, especially on social networks.
To recall, the Federation does not have any directly purchased vaccines, and the ones that are being used arrived through COVAX, the mechanism of the European Union (EU), or as a donation from other countries.
Since all of this is not enough to immunize the population, the authorities in FBiH have been announcing for months the signing of direct agreements with producers from different parts of the world. However, Novalic revealed on Friday that they did not rush that process.
”In that global world, in a way, we didn’t run first and become some guinea pigs. Some countries have accepted it, such as Hungary, Serbia, Israel… ” Novalic noted on Friday.
As it is known, Israel and Serbia are some of the countries with the highest immunization rate in the world. But, Novalic seems to believe that they were guinea pigs, that is, that the validity of the vaccines was tested on them. Does the Prime Minister want to say that the federal authorities “wisely” waited to see what would happen to the residents of these states, and only then to start mass immunization?
Serbia uses vaccines from all manufacturers: Russian Sputnik V, Chinese vaccines, AstraZeneca, and American Pfizer. On the other hand, Israel used only Pfizer, which was applied at the same time in the United States (U.S.), EU countries, etc., and thus was the world’s most wanted vaccine.
Hand on heart, Novalic’s statement from Friday was most likely given only to try to justify the catastrophic slowness in the procurement of vaccines.
However, if it is really true, more precisely if the FBiH authorities hesitated and deliberately delayed the procurement of vaccines that were already approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) at the time and were used in the most developed countries in the world, then it is a first-class scandal. This could also carry criminal liability, given how many human lives could have been saved had a larger quantity of vaccines been procured earlier.