“Absolut 4”, the vaccination process in Albania and the AstraZeneca controversy

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Did Albania start the vaccination process too late?

Gazmend Koduzi, from the Health Department of the Democratic Party, declared on “Absolut 4” that Albania has lost the highest number of health professionals to COVID-19, compared to all other European countries. For Koduzi, the situation would have been different had the vaccination started earlier.

Eugena Tomini, Deputy Health Minister, and Skender Brataj, Director of the Albanian National Emergency, did not share the same opinion.

“The entire world started vaccination on December 27th. In Albania, it started less than one month later. January 11th wasn’t too late”, said Tomini.

“You cannot say that the vaccination process started just because there were just 970 doses. The vaccination process can start when there are thousands of doses. 47 doctors died of the coronavirus. They were abandoned. We have the highest losses in Europe”, Koduzi declared.

The AstraZeneca controversy and its application in Albania

As regards the Astrazeneca vaccine, it is now being administered to teachers throughout Albania, despite the recent controversy with fatal side effects, which led many European countries to suspend it.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Eugena Tomini, declared that there has been nothing so far that ties the application of the vaccine to the blood clotting of some patients. This is why they are continuing with the administration of the vaccine.

Tomini said that every person who has received the vaccine is being monitored, but it is too early to speak about possible side effects.

 Gazmend Koduzi, from the Health Department of the Democratic Party, said that he would not accept the AstraZeneca vaccine at this moment.

“The Albanian government should have worked to create more trust among the citizens. If that vaccine is not good for the German people, how can it be good for us? This is what the people would think. The Albanian government should have worked harder to increase its trust. They are vaccinating teachers with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The process should have been suspended for the moment. WHO says the risk is low, but citizens are confused, as long as the vaccine is being taken on free will”, Koduzi declared.

He added that teachers have also been pressured to fill an application and declare whether they accept the vaccine or not. This was denied by Tomini, who said that filling the application is the basic procedure for any person, not just for teachers.

The Head of the National Emergency, Skender Brataj, was more categorical about the situation created in many countries that have suspended the AstraZeneca vaccination. According to Brataj, the vaccines don’t cause blood clots, and that the side effects of the three vaccines have been already introduced.

“AstraZeneca has headaches as side effects, body temperature up to 38 C, nausea. The temperature is a positive thing because the organism is reacting. It’s the virus that causes the blood clots”, Brataj declared.

The Russian and Chinese vaccines

The Head of the National Emergency, Skender Brataj, declared on “Absolut 4” that politics should allow doctors to take decisions in a time of the pandemic. However, he supported the stance held previously by the Albanian Prime Minister, who rejected the Russian vaccine, by saying that the negotiations for the vaccine are not done through an SMS (referring to the message from the Russian Embassy).

“The government took a pro-Western stance and there is nothing to misunderstand in this case. The phase when the vaccines were in a testing period is now over. The vaccines have given their effects and we will review our stance”, Brataj declared.

Deputy Minister Tomini declared that the government’s new decision will allow medical experts to review every possible source of vaccines, including the Russian and Chinese ones.

“Sputnik is waiting for a certification from the European Medicament Agency. The countries that have produced the vaccines have their own inspection authorities. Other countries that have already applied these vaccines have a great monitoring process. The normative act allows for us to obtain the vaccine through all means of communication”, Tomini declared.

DP accuses government of abandoning doctors

The representative of the Democratic Party accused the government of not protecting health professionals from the coronavirus.

The number of doctors who died of the coronavirus is higher than in the neighboring countries, according to Koduzi.

“North Macedonia has 6000 doctors, 20 deaths among health professionals. 0.3%. Italy has 245,000 doctors and 285 deaths, 0.1%. Albania has 4400 doctors and 45 deaths, 1.1%, 10 times more than Italy”, Koduzi said.

“All doctors were called to work. These are figures of the doctors who were called to work and who died”, Koduzi added. “The government did not take the necessary measures for protection. Family doctors and first personnel were left without protective gear. They were forced to buy their own masks and everything”, Koduzi declared on “Absolut 4”.