Ambassador Hovenier’s Remarks at the COVAX Vaccine Arrival

Ambassador Hovenier’s Remarks at the COVAX Vaccine Arrival, February 11, 2022

(As Prepared)

Good afternoon.  It is a pleasure to be here with President Osmani, Prime Minister Kurti, Minister Latifi, our colleagues from the UN, and all of you.

I am thrilled to be here to welcome this U.S. donation of more than half a million safe, effective Pfizer vaccine doses.  This is the third delivery of U.S. donated vaccines against COVID-19, and brings the total number of vaccines donated by the American people to Kosovo to over one million doses.

The United States is the single largest bilateral donor to Kosovo of COVID-19 vaccines since the start of this pandemic.  With this additional delivery, the U.S. donation is enough to vaccinate 30% of Kosovo’s entire population with their two doses!

This delivery, through the COVAX mechanism, a global initiative to support access to safe and effective vaccines, was made possible by the hard work of many of you with us today.

I’d like to thank our colleagues from the Ministry of Health, the National Institute for Public Health, and the UN family – particularly UNICEF, for all of their hard work to get these vaccines here, but more importantly for their continued efforts to combat the COVID pandemic in Kosovo by getting these jabs into arms.

The United States Government has also donated nearly $10 million in other assistance to Kosovo’s fight against COVID-19.  In addition to vaccines, we have contributed life-saving medical equipment, technical assistance, and other support, including outreach efforts to combat misinformation and increase vaccine uptake.

Vaccines remain the world’s strongest defense against COVID-19 and its devastating impacts.  Kosovo is doing well – with more than 40% of Kosovo’s total population having received two doses and even more having received their first dose.  High vaccination rates mean low rates of hospitalizations and fewer deaths.

Please do your part – get vaccinated – and encourage your family and friends to do the same – wash your hands, keep your distance, and wear your mask properly.  It takes all of us working together to fight this global pandemic.

The United States remains committed to working with the Government of Kosovo to fight COVID-19.

We are in this together!