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Low vaccination rates recorded in Western Balkan countries

55% vaccinated in Croatia, 51% in Montenegro, 50% in Slovenia, say health authorities

Lejla Biogradlija Aksan, and Furkan Abdula   | 20.10.2021
Low vaccination rates recorded in Western Balkan countries

SARAJEVO, Bosnia Herzegovina/SKOPJE, North Macedonia

The COVID-19 vaccination rates in the Western Balkan countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo, and Serbia have been below 50%, while Croatia and Montenegro have managed to rise above this rate.

At the beginning of the pandemic, 15% of the population was vaccinated against the coronavirus in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country progressed quite slowly in the supply of vaccines, recording the lowest vaccination rate in the Balkans, with only around 508,000 people fully vaccinated.

Some 1.24 million vaccines were administered in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, the two entities in the country with a population of about 3.5 million people.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the daily number of cases is around 200, the number of total infections has increased to 245,791, while the death toll has reached 11,228.

In Albania, over 1.83 million doses of the vaccine were administered, while 857,201 people -- 30% of the population -- received a double dose of the vaccine.

The country's case tally increased to 178,804 out of a population of about 3 million people, while the fatalities rose to 2,841.

In North Macedonia, with a 2-million population, 1.563 million doses of the vaccine were given and 763,031 people received a double dose of the vaccine.

In closed areas such as shopping malls and restaurants, the country implements anti-pandemic measures such as masks, negative PCR test results, vaccination certificates, or a document confirming recovery from COVID-19.

North Macedonia has registered 197,669 COVID-19 cases and 6,978 fatalities so far.

While 37% of the population was vaccinated in Kosovo, 1.507 million doses of the vaccine were given in the country of 1.8 million population. Some 665,265 people have been fully vaccinated.

According to officials, by the end of the year, 60% of the population will be vaccinated, while a curfew is imposed in the country at night. The number of cases in Kosovo reached 160,558, and the death toll hit 2,974.

Serbia saw a total of 1.062 million COVID-19 cases and a death toll of 9,214.

The disease is becoming more common in pregnant women and children in Serbia which has so far administered over 6.06 million doses of the vaccine. Out of 7 million people, 2.93 million -- 42% of the population -- have been fully vaccinated.

Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia ahead in vaccination among Balkan countries

It has been reported that 55% of the population has been vaccinated in Croatia, a member of the EU.

Around a total of 3.52 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the country of 4 million people, while more than 1.68 million people received a double dose of the vaccine.

Croatia has announced a total of 429,974 infections and a death toll of 8,928.

Another country that exceeded the 50% vaccination rate was Montenegro, which has a population of 620,000. Some 234,725 people, about 51% of the population, have been fully vaccinated.

Health experts said another 200,000 people need to be vaccinated to stem the spread of the virus in the country which registered 4,811 cases and 2,036 deaths.

In the EU member Slovenia, which saw protests against vaccination, 50% of the population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.

It was noted that over 2.02 million doses of the vaccine were used in the country with a population of about 2 million, while more than 1 million people received a double dose of the vaccine.

In Slovenia, the number of daily infections has increased recently, with the caseload reaching 310,170 and the death toll hitting 4,645.

*Writing by Merve Berker

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