EU To Help Western Balkan Countries Buy COVID-19 Vaccine
The European Commission has adopted a €70 million package of assistance to the countries of the Western Balkans as part of the Instrument of Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II). These funds are earmarked for the purchase of a coronavirus vaccine.
« During the pandemic, the EU demonstrated that it treats the countries of the Western Balkans as privileged partners. We continue to act in this spirit when it comes to vaccines, taking steps to launch vaccination campaigns as soon as possible for critical personnel and the most vulnerable groups in the region.
Swift vaccination will be crucial to end the pandemic and start the socio-economic recovery of the Western Balkans, » said Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi.
It was announced that the package will be paid in grants to help cover the cost of vaccines for priority groups in the region, as well as the necessary equipment for vaccination.
The Western Balkans will be allowed to purchase a certain amount of vaccines under a pre-purchase agreement between the EU and six manufacturers, with individual EU Member States waiving some of the doses previously earmarked for them under the agreement.