North Macedonia will receive safe and quality vaccines, through COVAX, on schedule
Fake news and misinformation have been burgeoning in parallel with the spread of the novel coronavirus and they can be just as dangerous as the virus, especially now with the development and distribution of vaccines getting on the fast track. Now more than ever, it is essential for all people to receive information from trusted sources so that everyone can make a truly informed decision about their own health.
The infodemic is affecting public perception about the quality of vaccines as well as generating misunderstanding about the complex supply chains involved in producing and delivering vaccines.
Global Supply of COVID-19 vaccines does not match the demand at this time. Distribution of vaccines of the scale of the COVID-19 global vaccinations, is a logistical undertaking in itself. It was inevitable that there would be supply challenges for COVID-19 vaccines while we wait for global manufacturing to reach capacity.
“Vaccines are a critical new tool in the battle against COVID-19 and I understand that everyone is keen to benefit from this available global public good”, said Dr Jihane Tawilah, WHO Representative in North Macedonia. “While we wait for receiving the vaccine, let us not forget the available public health measures which will play a significant role in containing this pandemic”.
WHO in North Macedonia worked closely with the Ministry of Health on the country's COVID-19 vaccination readiness, including planning, development of the National COVID vaccination plan, prioritization, support to proper cold chain and training of medical and vaccinator staff.
“I can confirm that North Macedonia meets the WHO stated conditions for COVID -19 related vaccination,” says Dr Tawilah.
“There has been a lot of misinformation about the arrival of the COVAX vaccines. As COVAX partner in the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, UNICEF confirms the government of North Macedonia has followed the global guidance from COVAX, has fulfilled all the criteria and has submitted the required documents as requested and needed within the deadlines. The Government has also made the payments on time,” said Patrizia Di Giovanni, UNICEF Representative. “While the first doses are expected to arrive in the country in the first half of April, the dates will be shared when definite information is received.”
COVID-19 related misinformation can have an immense toll for the country’s economic recovery too.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is an overwhelmingly complex global issue affecting everyone and it can be surpassed only if we all act together. In that spirit, the whole of the United Nations is involved in working with the Government in North Macedonia, in all aspects of the COVID-19 response and recovery and will continue to do so,” says Rossana Dudziak, UN Resident Coordinator in North Macedonia.
COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF on the procurement of vaccine doses as well as freight, logistics and storage of COVID-19 vaccines, on behalf of global COVAX Facility.