AURORA SHPATAJ

Finally, the Ministry of Health sent a detailed reply regarding the number of Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Corona Vac and Sputnik vaccines that have been injected since the beginning of the vaccination process against COVID-19. The information lacks official updates for Albania, whereas other neighboring countries such as Italy update them regularly. Faktoje had officially requested this information vital to the transparency to the public regarding  a major issue such as public health.

Many doubts have been raised since the beginning of the vaccination process in January 11 of this year regarding transparency, whereas the government argued that providing data on the anti-COVID vaccines was forbidden due to the trade secret  Since then, Faktoje started monitoring this process, comparing the way in which it informs public on this vital public health issues to countries of the region or Europe,  The missing information at the official report of the Ministry of Health includes the number of injected vaccines according to the producing company.

*Screenshot of a daily notification of the Ministry of Health which lacks transparency regarding the number of injected vaccines in the population by production company.

Meanwhile Italy, in contrast to Albania, has total transparency regarding the vaccination process.

Screenshot of a daily notice of the Italian Ministry which indicates the number of injected vaccines in the population by production company.

The next request regarding the issue was sent by Faktoje on June 29.

Request for information addressed to the Ministry of Health on January 29, 2021

On July 14, the reply regarding the number of injected vaccines, compiled by IPH, dividing the vaccines by type since the beginning of the process arrived at our editorial office after the Ministry of Health delegated the competence to them.

According the official reply, as of June 29, the figures regarding vaccine injection by type are as follows:

185 038 AstraZeneca vaccine doses

145 780 PfizerBioNtech-Comirnaty vaccine doses

584 252 Coronavac vaccine doses

40 428 Sputnik V vaccine doses

According to these data, it turns out that 955,498 doses have been injected until 29 June; the figure was reported in the update of the official page of the Ministry of Health on June 30, but without providing any details regarding the type of vaccine.

You can note that half of the injections were carried out with the Coronavac vaccine, yet to be approved by EMA and FDA, which is a concern to some experts.

But putting this debate aside, Faktoje considers the transparency in the vaccination process a step forward, since this information that should be officially updated by the institution.

Until the receipt of this information, Faktoje sent consecutive request since February, but until today we either were not provided a reply, or we were provided an incomplete one.

Screenshot of the request on the type of injected vaccine, February 12, 2021

Official request for information addressed to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy dated May 20

Incomplete reply of the Ministry of Health, even after the complaint to the Right to Information Commissioner

Earlier, Faktoje had also established some inconsistencies between the total number of administered vaccines and the total number of vaccines in Albania those administered reported by the government.. During the verification, it turned out that Albania had injected more doses that it has administered, but the official authorities still haven’t provided an explanation even after Faktoje showed interest in this matter.

*Profile picture taken from the official site of the Ministry of Health