Over 400 nurses to join team of COVID-19 vaccinators 

A new team of more than 400 nurses are undergoing a training programme at the vaccination site at National Arena in Tirana before they join the team of the COVID-19 vaccinators deployed all over Albania as the country prepares to launch the population’s mass immunisation this spring with the shipments of more coronavirus vaccine doses expected to be delivered soon. The new team includes also 100 military nurses, who will go through the training requirements under the mentorship of the public health experts.

Prime Minister Edi Rama today visited the vaccination site at National Arena along with the Minister of Health and Social Protection Ogerta Manastirliu to greet and express appreciation to the new vaccinators.

“Hello everyone! I just wanted that together with the Health Minister I could express my appreciation for your readiness and congratulate you all for the seriousness you are showing in attending the training programme and assure you of the full support in this process, as we are seeking to be super prepared from second one when we will be able to secure a considerable amount of vaccine doses and expand the network of the vaccinators throughout the territory of the country as part of the Albania Smiles vaccination campaign and the number of vaccinators should be higher than the number of their colleagues currently working in all health care centres all over the country,” PM Rama said.

To this end, we have asked for the Armed Forces help and I would like to wholeheartedly thank all military nurses for being here. We have called for their help and for the help of all people who are nurses by training and are ready to involve and contribute to what will become an unforgettable experience in the professional life of a boy or a girl, who have decided to dedicate their life to health care. We have also asked the nurse students, who are also capable of contributing to this process and build an unforgettable experience, as you all know this is a world war that doesn’t happen so often.

It is a war that can take place during the lifetime of several generations and which, unfortunately, 100 years after the deadly Spanish flu pandemic has resurfaced as a challenge to the mankind.

I believe you know quite well what is happening with the COVID-19 vaccines, and you certainly understand the vaccine has become a world issue for way more powerful countries, as the demand is gigantic, unimaginable, whereas the supply and the production capacity is what it is. So, I believe it is pretty clear how challenging is this for Albania.

Around 70 % of the produced vaccines are now in the hands of only ten countries and the number of the countries that should yet secure a single vaccine dose is more than 120 today. However, we have started the vaccination rollout and fortunately we have completed administering the first dose to all doctors and nurses. We are now expanding the process to include all the remaining part of the health staffs and health professionals, including the sanitary workers and everyone else. We are making small initial steps, but the process has also begun for the seniors 80 years old and over. We expect an initial shipment of 14.000 AstraZeneca vaccines to be delivered by mid-March, which will be immediately administered to teachers in a vaccination process that will take place in schools.

I am also very optimistic about receiving very good news about another considerable shipment of vaccine doses very soon, so that we can launch the mass immunisation campaign, where you will be a very precious added value.

Therefore, again I would like to thank you all. We are grateful for your readiness, since none of you has been involved in this process forcibly.

You are all here on your free will and initiative and you deserve appreciation. I am confident this will be a valuable experience for you professionally and I wish you every success and all the best! I wish you and your families good health, and of course urge you to wear the face masks, keep social distance, wash your hands and be confident that the light flickering at the end of the tunnel is increasingly becoming stronger and feel yourselves as a ray of this light,” PM Rama said in his remarks.