Until 24 February, Moldova remained the only country in Europe that had not yet started coronavirus vaccination. According to the portal Our World in Data, which collects data on vaccinations around the world, the immunization process has begun in all countries of the European continent. The portal does not have data for only three Balkan countries: Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the partially recognized Republic of Kosovo.
Yet there is information that vaccinations began in northern Macedonia on 17 February.
In partially recognized Kosovo, vaccinations have not started. On 13 February, Bosnia and Herzegovina announced the start of vaccination with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. According to the Balkan press, health workers living in the Bosnian entity are vaccinated. In Ukraine, vaccination began on February 24. And in neighbouring Romania, approximately 7% of the population has already been vaccinated, using 1.44 million doses of coronavirus vaccine.
Republic of Moldova is Europe’s poorest country. The country did not expect to get any vaccines before the end of February according to a press release issued by the health minister.
The situation is particularly dire among frontline workers, as the Republic of Moldova has the highest infection rate in Europe amongst medical staff. With a population of 2.6 million, Moldova expects to receive just over 200,000 doses, through the UN’s COVAX programme, which aims to make vaccines available to poorer countries.