SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia on Sunday received a shipment of 500,000 doses of Chinese Sinovac vaccines that will allow authorities to continue mass immunization in the country, which has slowed over the past two weeks because of vaccine shortages.
The vaccine shipments arrived at the country’s main airport on two planes.
North Macedonia received another shipment of more than 100,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines through the COVAX system on Saturday.
The small Balkan country had struggled earlier with vaccine shortages, and mass immunization had begun in early May after North Macedonia received a shipment of 200,000 Sinopharm vaccines.
Nearly 25% of the country’s 2.1 million people have been vaccinated with at least one dose so far.
The COVID-19 epidemic in North Macedonia has drastically slowed down this month and authorities have decided to ease almost all restrictions by removing a curfew, and allowing bars and restaurants to organize weddings and other celebrations with 50% of normal capacity. Protective masks are mandatory only indoors.
Health authorities in North Macedonia recorded only four cases of new infections on Sunday. So far, there have been more than 155,600 confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 5,500 deaths since the start of the pandemic
As a gesture of gratitude for several vaccine donations and free vaccination for Macedonian nationals in neighboring Serbia, authorities have decided to waive highway tolls for Serbian tourists traveling on vacation to Greece until Aug. 15.