EU delivers vaccine jabs to Balkans after China and Russia




BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The European Union started delivering EU-funded coronavirus vaccines Tuesday to the Balkans, a region that wants to join the 27-nation bloc but where China and Russia have already been supplying the much-needed shots and making political gains.

The European Commission last month announced that 651,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses will be delivered to Serbia, Bosnia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo in weekly instalments from May to August. The vaccines are funded from a 70 million euro package ($85 million) adopted by the Commission in December.

Most of the Balkan countries have struggled to get coronavirus vaccines, except for Serbia, which had launched a successful inoculation campaign mainly thanks to millions of doses of China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik V shots, which have so far not been approved by EU’s drug administrator.

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