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Austria to donate million Covid vaccine doses to Balkan states

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Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (R) and Miroslav Lajcak, the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkan regional issues, attend a press conference during the Western Balkans summit at Palais Niederostereich in Vienna, Austria, on June 18, 2021. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)


Austria will donate one million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to western Balkan countries, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday.

In April, Austria and Slovenia promised thousands of coronavirus vaccine doses to the Czech Republic after coming under fire from Brussels for refusing to help EU partners in greater need of jabs.

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“We will deliver one million doses of vaccines from Austria to the western Balkans from August until the end of the year,” Kurz told reporters after meeting representatives from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia and Serbia.

A spokesman told AFP that the donations would be mostly AstraZeneca and that further details — including who gets how many would still need to be decided.

“We will only be able to overcome this pandemic once all countries in Europe and beyond have overcome it,” Kurz said.

Almost half of Austria’s almost nine million people have already received at least one shot, while a quarter is fully vaccinated.

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