In-article:

After being champion of vaccination, Serbia struggles to convince its inhabitants


Caroline Baudry (in Belgrade), edited by Solène Leroux

REPORTING

Distrust of politicians, lies about its effectiveness… More than half of Serbs reject the anti-Covid vaccine. 48.2% of the population received one dose of vaccine. Around the ice rink, in the heart of Belgrade, a crowd of passers-by, most of them without masks and not vaccinated. “I think my immune system is sufficient, and I don’t believe in these vaccines,” says Irina, 23. “If people are more vaccinated in other countries, I don’t understand why,” she adds. The health pass, which is compulsory from 8 p.m. in Serbia in bars, nightclubs and restaurants, does not matter.

Milena is also unable to present it. “I no longer go clubbing like before, but hey, we go in the evening, to people’s homes…” A year ago, the Serbs were however the most vaccinated on the continent, thanks in particular to the Chinese vaccine. “Germany, France, Great Britain, they would have had these vaccines first, if it was something so important,” grins Aleksander in a flashy orange cap. “They wouldn’t have given it to our small country of five million people,” he asserts.

Three vaccination centers close

The vaccine is a political matter according to these Serbs, despite the wave of Omicron contaminations hitting the country. Milita, large black coat, vaccinated three times, has just come out of the disease. “The virus is less dangerous now. Before, I was very against unvaccinated people. But now I think maybe they were right,” she says. Monday, three vaccination centers in the Serbian capital lower the curtain, for lack of candidates.



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