AURORA SHPATAJ

A few months after signing the deal on the second contingent of Coronavax vaccines, which as confirmed by Prime Minister Rama amount to 1 million doses, Faktoje observed that the government has disclosed the payments for purchasing only two types of vaccines, including Sputnik V. Meanwhile, there is no transparency regarding the Pfizer vaccine. The Ministry of Health also continues to lack transparency regarding the number of administered vaccines by manufacturing company, whereas from a comparison of information it turns out that Albania has reported about half a million of doses more of administered vaccines that it turns out in international agencies.

3 months from declaring the changed Normative Act for the several times in the year, that confirms the signing of the agreement regarding the second contingent of CoronaVac vaccines, the payments were disclosed through DCMs. The approved DCM in the mid June this year discloses the planned payment in the amount of 10 million USD for the agreement in question.

Screenshot of DCM dated 16.06.2021 with the financial details on the deal with the Turkish company regarding anti-COVID vaccines. Meanwhile, a DCM from June 2 discloses the payment in the amount of 497 thousand USD for the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.

Screenshot of the agreement that shows the cost that will be paid for the insurance of the Sputnik V vaccine.

Checking the official website of the government there isn’t a DCM that discloses the payment for the contingent of Pfizer vaccines, as with the Coronavac or Sputnik V vaccines. Faktoje has observed and reported on the lack of transparency regarding the financial bill for purchasing Pfizer vaccines in an article from March 31, regarding the costs on the Reserve Fund.

Faktoje officially addressed the Ministry of Health with a request for information in which we required to know how many Coronavax and Sputnik V vaccines have arrived so far in Albania and we are still waiting on a response.

Request submitted to the Ministry of Health on August 23.

The gap between government reports and foreign agencies’ reports on the number of administered vaccines is over half a million doses.

According to updated reports of the Ministry of Health, until now we have received 1,899,172 anti-COVID vaccine doses. Based on the New York Times report, 1.340.339 doses have been administered in Albania, boosting vaccination rates to 47 persons in 100.

Screenshot of the updated data on the vaccine doses, source New York Times

Reuters also displays the same figures. According to its data Albania has administered 1.340.339 doses.

Screenshot of the updated data on the vaccine doses, source Reuters

The difference in the figures reported by the MoH compared to the ones available by foreign agencies (based on Our Word in Data) is 558.833 more doses. Faktoje tried to fact-check this considerable inconsistency by asking the director of the Institute of Public Health, Albana Fico, through WhatsApp on the number of vaccines that have arrived in Albania since the beginning of the pandemic to the present day.

Screenshot of the communication with the director of the Institute of Public Health, Albana Fico.

As of the publication of this article we have yet to receive a reply.

Faktoje reported in July that the number of injected vaccines according to the Ministry of Health is higher than the number of administered vaccines, based on the reports of agencies such as Reuters and NYT. But if in July the “gap” was about 12 thousand doses, the difference now is approximately half a million doses.