North Macedonia receives first batch of Russian vaccines against COVID-19

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SKOPJE, March 7 (Xinhua) — The first batch of 3,000 doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V against COVID-19 arrived in North Macedonia on Sunday, Health Minister Venko Filipce said via a Facebook post.

The minister said that the first shipment of 3,000 doses of Sputnik V, which arrived at Skopje International Airport on Sunday, will ensure the continuation of the immunization process that has already started in the country.

A total of 200,000 doses of vaccines have been ordered, according to Filipce.

These vaccines will be used to vaccinate the elderly with chronic diseases and elderly citizens in the nursing houses, Filipce added.

Vaccination against COVID-19 started in North Macedonia on Feb. 17.

On Sunday, the Health Ministry reported 333 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total tally of confirmed coronavirus cases in North Macedonia to 107,163, with 94,729 recoveries and 3,195 fatalities.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 261 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 79 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Friday.

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