- Title: Serbia offers booster shot against COVID-19 as infections rise
- Date: 25th August 2021
- Summary: BELGRADE, SERBIA (AUGUST 25, 2021) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WAITING IN FRONT OF VACCINATION CENTRE PEOPLE FILLING OUT FORMS, CHECKING IN VARIOUS OF PEOPLE AT REGISTRATION DESKS MEDICAL STAFF DIRECTING MAN TO VACCINATION BOOTH VARIOUS OF MEDICAL WORKER VACCINATING MAN VACCINATION CENTRE COORDINATOR, ZORAN BEKIC, SPEAKING WITH JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) VACCINATION CENTRE COORDINATOR, ZORAN BEKIC, SAYING: "The epidemiological situation getting worse, vaccination has slowed down so that the decision has been made to launch the inoculation of a third dose to already vaccinated persons, which should lengthen and strengthen immunity. Thus, all the vaccinated citizens, 180 days after their second shot, can now receive the third shot and the invitations are sent via SMS messages or e-mails." MEDICAL STAFF DIRECTING MAN TO VACCINATION BOOTH SIGN ON VACCINATION BOOTH READING "PFIZER BIONTECH" (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) VACCINATION CENTRE COORDINATOR, ZORAN BEKIC, SAYING: "Any other vaccine can be applied because the clinical studies did not observe any counter-indications, and in a large number of cases there is a possibility to strengthen the immunity." MEDICAL WORKER PREPARING SYRINGE WITH VACCINE MEDICAL WORKER VACCINATING MAN VARIOUS OF MEDICAL WORKER VACCINATING MAN (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) VACCINATED MAN, MILORAD PAUNOVIC, SAYING: "I was motivated by yesterday's (figure of) 2,216 people who again came to COVID-hospitals for examinations. To tell you the truth, I am a cardiovascular patient, I have a triple bypass, diabetes, so - I just want to feel like I am on the safe side." PEOPLE SITTING IN POST-VACCINATION WAITING ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) VACCINATED WOMAN, LJILJANA PAUNOVIC, SAYING: "I came with the idea to receive Sinopharm, but as I have already received it, then I consulted the doctor, I trusted her, and she recommended me Pfizer, I accepted it. I am one of those people who trust science and doctors as they studied for so many years, and I suppose it is all right to trust the people who studied because I would be the first to get offended if someone wouldn't trust me for what I know and for what I spent my entire career on. So, it is OK." VARIOUS OF MEDICAL WORKER VACCINATING MAN (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) VACCINATED WOMAN, LJUBINKA ZEGARAC, SAYING: "I really wanted to try it, maybe this will have a better effect considering that this is a different vaccine." PEOPLE COMING IN AND OUT OF VACCINATION BOOTH (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) VACCINATED WOMAN, NADA GRUJIC, SAYING: "I have now received the Chinese (vaccine) and the first two were (also Chinese). I think that everyone should (receive the third dose). Let me tell you - when there was (epidemic of) smallpox, nobody asked us whether we wanted (to get vaccinated) or not, we all got it. And I think it is a smart thing to do. In my family, we all got vaccinated, my granddaughter of 19 as well, and also my son and daughter-in-law." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE SITTING IN POST-VACCINATION WAITING ROOM
- Embargoed: 8th September 2021 11:33
- Keywords: COVID-19 vaccination in Serbia COVID-19 vaccine booster shot Serbia coronavirus pandemic in Serbia
- Location: BELGRADE, SERBIA
- City: BELGRADE, SERBIA
- Country: Serbia
- Topics: Europe,Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001ERS4X15
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Serbian health authorities have already administered over 80,000 third doses of COVID-19 vaccines as the Balkan country is struggling with a surge in coronavirus infections caused by the highly contagious Delta variant.
Serbia has so far vaccinated over 50% of its population of around 7 million with two doses of vaccine, but the campaign slowed down due to the lack of interest and resistance by anti-vaccination groups.
Zoran Bekic, a physician and the head of a vaccination point at Belgrade's fair, said the decision has been made as COVID-19 infections are on the rise and the vaccination rollout is stalling.
Under government guidelines, anyone who received the second dose at least six months ago, immunocompromised patients and health workers are eligible for the third dose.
Serbians can choose COVID-19 vaccines from four manufacturers: Pfizer/BioNtech, China's Sinopharm, AstraZeneca/Oxford, and Russia's Sputnik-V.
The third dose is normally a vaccine that was originally given, Bekic said, but any other vaccine can be given as studies showed it could boost immunity, he added.
Belgrade resident Milorad Paunovic did not hesitate to get a booster shot, as he has pre-existing cardiovascular conditions and diabetes, he said he wanted to be on the "safe side".
Vaccinated patient Ljiljana Paunovic was not worried about mixing and matching vaccines as she said she believes in science and doctors. She had Sinopharm vaccine shots so far but was recommended to get the Pfizer vaccine by her physician.
So far COVID-19 has killed 7,226 people in Serbia, while 746,366 have fallen ill.
(Production Hedy Beloucif, Fedja Grulovic)
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