Rising interest in vaccination following the announced restrictions

The new restrictions, which from Aug. 15 will require people over 18 to show proof of vaccination before enjoying bars, restaurants, and cafes, have revved up the country’s vaccine drive, according to health authorities.

Rising interest in vaccination has prompted the Ministry of Health to open four more Covid-19 vaccination sites in Skopje on Wednesday, it said on Tuesday.

Nearly 400,000 vaccine doses are available nationwide, including 200,000 for first doses: 80,000 Sinovac, 50,000 AstraZeneca, and 70,000 Pfizer shots.

According to the Ministry of Health, 20,000 to 30,000 Pfizer vaccines will be arriving weekly until the end of the year, with walk-in vaccinations offered at all vaccination sites.

Medical teams are also vaccinating people across the country, visiting towns and villages.

Latest official figures show that around 32 percent of people over 18 have received at least one dose. This includes 66 percent of the population over 70; 63 percent of the population over 65; 59 percent of the population over 60; and 48 percent of the population over 50.

At the moment, Gevgelija has the highest percentage of vaccinated adults (51 percent), closely followed by Kavadarci (50.3 percent).

Ohrid has vaccinated 48.1 percent of its residents over 18, followed by Negotino (47.9 percent), Bitola (46.3 percent), Resen (46.7 percent), Berovo (44.1 percent), Stip (43.1 percent), Pehcevo (43 percent), and Valandovo (40.5 percent).

Between 30 and 40 percent of adults have been vaccinated in Skopje as well as in Demir Hisar, Veles, Sveti Nikole, Kocani, Delcevo, Kriva Palanka, Prilep, Krusevo, and Probihtip.

Kicevo, Vinica, Kumanovo, Kratovo, Debar, Struga, Makedonski Brod, Strumica, Tetovo and Radovis have vaccinated between 20 and 30 percent of the adult population.

Gostivar has the lowest percentage of vaccinated adults (19.9 percent).

As the pace of vaccination picks up, so do reports of new Covid-19 cases. The number of active infections has risen from 130 a month ago to 2,581 on Tuesday, with 518 new cases diagnosed in the previous 24 hours.

The death toll has reached 5,513.

With delta variant cases increasing in Macedonia — the Ministry of Health has confirmed around 30 so far — health officials are urging people to get vaccinated and reassuring them that the vaccines have proven safe and effective against severe outcomes from Covid-19.