The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu participated today in the handover ceremony of over 500 thousand Pfizer vaccines donated by the United States of America.
Below is the full speech delivered by President Osmani:
Honourable Prime Minister Kurti,
Honourable Minister Latifi,
Honourable Ambassador Hovenier,
Honourable Mrs. Richardson, Zeinah,
Director of the National Institute of Public Health Professor Ramadani,
Honourable healthcare professionals,
Media representatives present and everyone who contributed to us getting together today,
In March 2021, when the pandemic posed a serious threat worldwide, I addressed President Biden through a letter requesting help in securing vaccines for the citizens of our country at a time when we had zero vaccines.
It was a sensitive situation with the risk of the virus increasing and vaccines viewed as the only hope of survival.
As the number of infected persons increased, efforts to provide vaccines became part of our daily agenda.
Our commitment, but the generosity of our friends above all, helped us to regain hope for life, to secure necessary vaccines, to save lives.
As in 1999, the United States once again proved to be on our side. Back then they saved us from death in war, today they saved us from the Covid virus and all its variants through vaccination.
Therefore, on behalf of all citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, we extend once again from here our heartfelt gratitude to President Biden, for these two shipments of vaccines accounting for over 1 million vaccines donated to our republic so far. The US is and will remain a permanent friend and ally of the Republic of Kosovo!
As we receive over 515 thousand Pfizer vaccines today, we continue to face the pandemic, as well as the risk of new variants of this virus.
Hence, we must repeat every day that vaccines save lives, so no one should hesitate to be vaccinated. This is the only safeguard, so everyone should be vaccinated to avoid the fatal risk of the virus.
After less than a year since the vaccination started in our country, as the minister elaborated, 63% of our population over the age of 12 have received one dose and somewhere 57% have received both doses. This percentage is much higher in the population over 18 years old and this makes Kosovo a leader in the region. However, the two doses alone are not enough, so even today we invite our citizens to be vaccinated with the booster dose; this will make it easier not only for the individual, but also for our state and economy.
As you know, we have not remained indifferent during the pandemic and efforts to secure vaccines with the assistance of our friends has been part of our daily commitment. I am happy that thanks to this joint commitment, our state has received shipments of vaccines several times, which have made it easier for us to cope with the pandemic.
Battles like the Covid-19 pandemic call for international solidarity. Fortunately, Kosovo has never been alone in this confrontation.
We should be grateful for the support of our friends, starting from the US, the European Union, individual countries such as France, Croatia, Poland, Albania, Austria, the COVAX Initiative, UNICEF and many other organizations that have helped in this regard.
But despite this, the risk from the Covid virus has not passed. We should all be aware that without vaccinating all eligible citizens, the battle with the pandemic will be difficult, perhaps even impossible.
Each of us has responsibilities in relation not only to personal health, but also to the health of all our citizens. Therefore, we must increase the efforts for vaccination, considering this action a civic and human obligation and a necessary measure for our safety, as well as for the well-being of our state!
Today when we have significant amounts of vaccines, we need to increase hope and effort in the fight against the Covid virus. The more vaccines the less deaths, the more vaccines and vaccinations the more optimism for triumph over this evil, the more vaccinations the more chances for openness, helping the economy and returning to normalcy. All this is being made possible with the help of our friends.