A meeting between the chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Zoran Tegeltija, the federal prime minister, Fadil Novalic, and the prime minister of the Republika Srpska (RS), Radovan Viskovic, was held in Sarajevo yesterday, and the main topic was the procurement of vaccines.
At the end of the meeting, Minister of Civil Affairs of BiH, Ankica Gudeljevic, stated that it is being worked on speeding up the arrival of vaccines in BiH in the second quarter of this year.
”The COVAX program has finally started functioning. We are not happy, because those were the last days for the contract to be followed. This morning we received information that the next delivery will be AstraZeneca vaccines within the COVAX system”, said Gudeljevic yesterday, adding that these are 81.600 doses that should be realized around April 22nd or 23rd, but that that date could be moved, as we already know from experience.
“The vaccine will come. What is important that we regularly receive a sufficient number of quantities so that health care institutions can spend it in time, ” she stressed.
Also, Gudeljevic said that there was an announcement from COVAX that BiH would receive 100.620 doses of Pfizer by the end of the sixth month, but it was not yet known whether it would be at once or through several deliveries of smaller quantities.
She also told that the delivery of vaccines within the mechanism of the European Union (EU) should be realized in the second quarter.
“Out of the 13.7 million euros we received from the EU, 85 percent must be used for vaccines, and the rest for equipment and transport,” Gudeljevic explained.
According to her, BiH is in negotiations, a draft agreement is being prepared with Austria, which is in charge of the Western Balkans on behalf of the EU.
“We expect about 120 thousand, most likely of Pfizer vaccine. We will have more details when we get the draft of the agreement. We also confirmed to Poland yesterday that we will sign an agreement with them within the EU. They offer 370 thousand doses of AstraZeneca, ” added Gudeljevic yesterday.
She believes that the second quarter of this year should be better than the previous one. Also, she mentioned that at yesterday’s meeting there was talk about activating the coordination body within the Council of Ministers of BiH, which started working, but was difficult because it usually did not have a quorum.
“The third topic is the tightening of the measure of entry of foreigners into BiH. We discussed the possibility of introducing PCR tests for everyone who enters the country. After letting the profession say its position, we concluded that currently, there is no need to restrict entry into BiH and introduce a PCR test. Controlling entry requires the strong engagement of health professionals and inspectors. We believe that the existing measures are strong and strict enough. It is more important to respect the existing measures, ” said Gudeljevic.