Corona vaccination: Serbia becomes a role model

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Fri 12th Feb, 2021

In Germany and in most EU countries, there is widespread impatience at the Corona vaccination process. Too little vaccine and a haphazard inefficent rollout. However, the mood is slightly different in Serbia.

The EU candidate country has now vaccinated well over 500,000 people with the first dose - out of a total population of almost seven million. This puts Serbia in second place in Europe (not the EU) behind Great Britain when the Corona vaccination rate is compared with the size of the population.

China vaccine brings Balkan state ahead
This is mainly due to the fact that the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm is being used in Serbia. And the Russian preparation Sputnik V is also in use. Neither vaccine has yet been approved for use in the slow-moving EU. The Chinese drug in particular is proving useful in Serbia. According to a report by MDR, the Chinese manufacturer Sinopharm has already delivered one million doses to the Balkan country. Serbia has always had good relations with China. According to the report, little vaccine has arrived from Western and Russian manufacturers.

But it is not only the sheer mass of vaccine doses that makes Serbia a leader - it is, of course, the basis of its success. According to the MDR report, the vaccination system is also much simpler than elsewhere.

Simple ranking - digitally networked
According to the report, people register via the Internet or by phone with their personal data and then select the vaccine they want.

A media campaign in Serbia has prevented a race for the most sought-after vaccine. For example, President Aleksandar Vucic announced that he would have the Chinese substance injected. This was reported by the Tagesschau.

However, Serbia also prioritizes who can be vaccinated first. The system appears to be simpler than elsewhere: there is not only a differentiation according to age. Rather, in addition to people over the age of 65, priority is also given to all people who have a lot to do with other people in their jobs, according to the MDR report. This includes doctors, teachers, police officers and soldiers, as well as theater producers and journalists.

But digitization also plays a major role in the Balkan country. According to an ORF report quoted by Bild, Serbia is taking its cue from the vaccination champion Israel. Prime Minister Ana Brnabic is quoted as saying that the country has been working intensively on an information system to track vaccinations on site in real time. In addition, the distribution of the vaccine is also being recorded digitally.

Every resident of Serbia - including foreigners - can register for vaccination and receive an appointment via e-mail or SMS according to the vaccination ranking list.

According to a Tagesschau report, other EU countries are now also interested in this vaccination strategy. Hungary and the Czech Republic are mentioned.

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