Published on: 31 May 2021

Most updated Covid-19 situation in Albania

In Albania the reaction to the Covid -19 Pandemic showed the importance of responding quickly to health emergencies, taking timely action, regarding the epidemiological investigation and public health capacities. The capacities in epidemiological investigation, it’s strengthening in the terrain epidemiology, contact tracing and virological laboratory capacities showed consolidated operational capabilities, as to the experience of previous epidemics, influenza surveillance and surveillance experience of severe respiratory syndrome.

The cooperation of all the links of the health system, showed the functioning of a paper plan points that became active step by step.

Another important element, that the epidemic faced us, was the quality and the uninterrupted functioning of the health system, regardless of the effect and severity of the epidemic.

The action plan worked properly from the centralization of case management in the dedicated COVID-19 hospitals (1, 2, 3, 4), in regional scenarios, which gradually became active, depending on the use of the bed, at the level of 1600 beds at the national level.

The autumn-winter strategy based on the main objective of increasing the number of tests, for more in-depth epidemiological investigation passed the place to 4 laboratories, dedicated for PCR diagnosis, passed the place to the testing strategy combined with classical PCR and RT Ag, with the raising 54 testing points of RTAg, consequently combined with the epidemiological investigation in the hearth, to follow up cases, but also for hearth screening potentially for COVID19.

Albania, following the steps of the vaccination strategy, has also been in the region one of the countries with full commitment to be part till the first day of the COVAX instrument and with the company Pfizer direct contracting, to ensure early start of vaccination of the population in the country, and from 11 January 2021 the process of vaccination against COVID 19 has started.

Currently, until the 22nd epidemiological week, there have been 719225 vaccinations, where 473177 have got the first doses, covering thus 21% of target population and 246048 have got the second doses.

The number of vaccine doses arrived in Albania till 24 May 2021, in total is 847050. 

From the total of doses arrived in the country: 122850 doses are Pfizer-Biontech ones, where 19890 are from EU, starting to arrive from 3 May 2021 and will continue to arrive with a weekly schedule, along with the ones from the direct contract, that Albania has with the company.

The other vaccines that has arrived in Albania are, listed as follows:

79200 doses of Vaxzevria-Astrazeneca;

50000 doses of Covishield vaccine;

560000 doses of Coronvac vaccine;

35000 doses of Gam-covid-vac - Sputnik V vaccine.

 

Our vaccination plan includes the entire population recommended to be vaccinated, based on one of the most ambitious scenarios that is in 14 months.

A very important element for the continuation of a successful vaccination process was the evaluation and capacity building of the cold chain for vaccines. Our country has cooling chain capacities for vaccines, that are expected to be applied in the country, starting with the current possibilities, for storing vaccines at -70 ° C / available for 250,000 doses of vaccine at a time, for vaccines that require a storage temperature of -20 ° C, we have the capacity for 950,000 vaccine doses simultaneously, while for vaccines, which require a temperature of 2-8 ° C, we have the capacity for 7 million doses, with capillary spread throughout the country.

Another important lesson was that the foundation of a correct and timely management of the epidemic is the support of the Government, respecting the recommendations and the experts to intervene with effective measures, in the necessary links, to minimize further community transmission of this epidemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a biological but also a social phenomenon faced by strong health systems or not, obstacles appear, difficulties and weaknesses which provide an orientation for a clearer vision.

However, we can already emphasize that strong surveillance systems are needed to be operational during an emergency health crisis, review and reinforcement of response plans, further strengthening of laboratory capacities and the need to refresh knowledge, based on continuing education of human capacity.

The importance of preventing and controlling infectious diseases has been reaffirmed and has taken on, an international dimension through this pandemic.

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