Pulmonologist Dejan Zujovic has stated that in the past year and a half at least 20,000 people in Serbia had died from the consequence of COVID-19.
“I’m not optimistic. We’ve lost the battle when it comes to vaccination. Due to inadequate response in certain cases, we’ve allowed the pandemic to take its course. We missed the chance [to contain the virus] because of ignorance, arrogance, negligence and selfishness,” the pulmonologist said in an interview for Novi Magazin weekly published on July 22.
According to Zujovic, the mass vaccination in Serbia had failed because of the anti-vaxxers’ “rampage” and the fact that the vaccination was used as part of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’c political and marketing campaign.
When asked what had gone wrong with the official vaccination campaign, Zujovic replied that the problem was that it was approached as a political campaign.
“Every day, we’d hear the politicians tell us something along the lines of ‘We got you,’ ‘I got you,’ ‘The president procured,’ ‘The prime minister welcomed a plane’…The vaccination process is a country and nationwide process, not a political campaign. But, as the president and prime minister are on a permanent campaign, they’ve decided to use the vaccination to carry on with their self-promotion, which has backfired,” Zujovic said.
According to Novi Magazin, with less that 40 percent of its nation vaccinated, Serbia is ranked 36th in the world when it comes to the number of people inoculated against COVID-19, and it will welcome the fourth pandemic wave with more than half of its population unprotected from the virus, although it has around 2 million vaccine doses in store.