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First-wave champion Greece stumbles at vaccine roll-out

Georgia Nakou

Denis-Kolundzija-400x500It is perhaps because of the euphoria brought by tourism – both the ability of Greeks themselves to enjoy a holiday, and the positive impact on the national economy - that the general public has been willing to tolerate daily case numbers averaging between 2,000 and 3,000 throughout the summer, and double-digit daily fatalities climbing above 40 going into September, which experts have taken to describing as “a busload of people going off a cliff every day”.

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Serbia’s road to collective immunity: Some will live to tell the story

Denis Kolundzija

Denis-Kolundzija-400x500The enthusiasm in the first months of this year regarding the mass vaccination in Serbia was so high that in March, the country was ranked highest in Europe in terms of the number of fully vaccinated people per million inhabitants. Eight months later, less than half of the total population has been vaccinated, and Serbia is once again ranking highest in Europe, but also fourth in the world! - this time, unfortunately, in terms of the number of new cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants.

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Tear gas instead of vaccines

Biljana Žikić

Biljana-Zikik-200x250With only 48% of the population vaccinated, the impermissible missteps of the expert COVID-19 staff and with mass anti-vaccination protests, it is obvious that the vaccination campaign in Slovenia was extremely unsuccessful. Instead of persuading as many people as possible, the government, with its clumsy and unprofessional communication and untrustworthy communicators who have zero credibility with the people, incessant corruption scandals, constant repression, introduction of political rather than health protection measures and its authoritarian rule, has continuously lost both credibility and candidates for vaccination.

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Why is it taking so long for the pandemic to end in Macedonia?

Haris Babačić, PhD

Haris Babacik 400x500At the beginning of the pandemic, we estimated that it would probably last for two years. Today, a year and seven months later, I’m wondering if that will be the case with Macedonia.

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Beyond Conspiracy Theories: How Mismanagement Shaped the Vaccination in Albania

Barbara Halla

Barbara Halla 400x500While June had seemed like the moment Albania had turned the corner, with infection rates dropping in the single digits, by the end of July (after a record number of visitors had entered Albania, surpassing pre-pandemic numbers), the tide had turned. In August, the number of daily cases reached just shy of 1,000.

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The lack of vaccines led to panic in B&H, yet now they are going to waste

Mladen Obrenović

Mladen Obrenovic 400x500With considerable lack of trust and a strong influence of opponents to vaccination, but also the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina was quite late to start mass immunization, the percentage of vaccinated citizens is extremely low. The latest data indicate that as little as 12 percent of the adult population i.e., every eighth inhabitant, is fully vaccinated, and Bosnia and Herzegovina tops the ranking in Europe in terms of the number of deaths per million inhabitants.

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The “freedom fighters“ that threaten Slovak democracy

Michaela Ružičková

Michaela Ruzickova 400x500Despite the relatively good pandemic situation in Slovakia during the summer of 2021, the state faced an extensive anti-vaccination and anti-government campaign. It was aimed primarily against vaccination, pandemic measures and restrictions. The campaign resulted in mass protests that ended with a rally taking place on Constitution Day.

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In a society divided over the vaccine, legal disinformation are sowing fear of fascism

Bojana Guberac

Bojana Guberac 400x500

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that in Croatia there has never been a stronger distrust in the system and, what is even worse, in the profession. We are used to have the politicians lie to us or, as it is popular in Croatia lately to say, to tell untruths. But it is very worrying that a good part of the citizens of Croatia have classified the many experts among the "servants of evil" who are here to introduce a new fascism to use.

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Fighting fake news is a "to be or not to be" battle!

Teofil Blazevski

Teofil Blazevski 400x500The fight against fake news and misinformation is much harder than all internationally undertaken and locally implemented or created measures and activities. It is a complex process in which neither media, institutionsor civil society organizations, let alone individuals, can fight on their own, and the consequences can be much more terrible than they are now.

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“Rakija, garlic and lemon”: How fake news endangered human lives in Albania

Nertila Maho

Ivan Subotic 400x500The real problem were the unscientific and unfounded claims that began to circulate during the first months of the pandemic, on most of the websites. You could easily find “news” about how COVID-19 could be treated at home with raki (a typical Albanian alcoholic beverage). It was claimed that drinking it kept the coronavirus away.

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Who lied and how about Covid-19 in Serbia?

Ivan Subotić

Ivan Subotic 400x500At one point one could read in the media that Tylol hot (powder with paracetamol used to treat colds) in combination with rakia, is effective treatment against Covid 19, although the combination of alcohol and paracetamol can be quite dangerous.

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How the Croatian government helped the spread of the "plandemic"

Ivor Fuka

Ivor Fuka 400x500Clearly, whichever way we slice it, we will be fighting fake news, misinformation, and conspiracy theories for a long time to come. Have we already mentioned that politicians are some of the biggest propagators of misinformation? Well, now we have!

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The virus may be slowing, but fake news is still rampant

Violeta Zefi

Violeta Zefi 400x500Focusing on overcoming the virus, we undermined how the pandemic times affected our mental health. Struggling to discern truth from “clickbait” is taking its toll on everyone.

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Professional liars in pandemic times

Vuk Vučetić

Minas Bakalcev 400x500All conspiracy theories have very simple premises on which they rest. At the core of any conspiracy theory is the division of the world into good and evil. It is difficult to refute them because anyone who tries to do so is considered an accomplice to the conspiracy. The problem is that these theories spread very quickly, most often through social media, but also through closed groups on some platforms such as Viber and the like.

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Vaccine Nationalism Strikes Back

Sabin Selimi

Sabin Selimi 400x500Governments around the world tend to follow their own national interests instead of pursuing a more globally coordinated approach.

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At the Bottom of the Balkans: Kosovo’s Bumpy Road in Securing Vaccines

Arber Fetahu

Arber Fetahu 400x500The pandemic marked its first anniversary a few weeks ago. Covid-19 exposed systemic problems in the health system of Kosovo and other institutional branches. While the high number of positive cases and deaths made the headlines, the government declarations that they have secured hundreds of thousands dozes of vaccines were full of hope, if it were to be true.

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Political wrangling instead of vaccines

Vanja Stokić

Vanja Stokic 400x500Apart from a few isolated attempts, most people are not filing complaints to institutions and are not asking for accountability. They do not even accept the opportunities for inoculation they are offered, as rare as they may be. It's as if they want to hold on and see who is right, anti-vaxxers or doctors, and how the whole procurement drama will play out. In all likelihood, it will be too late then.

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Bulgaria’s COVID-19 vaccination fiasco: excessive risks, mediocre results

Vladimir Atanasov

Naum Kajcev 400x500Bulgaria’s vaccination program can only be deemed a fiasco. It can be attributed to a number of factors — poor organization, incompetence, and potential conflict of interest. In turn, the drama, which unravels now, is not surprising. Bulgaria is second in the EU in deaths per capita on a seven-day rolling basis and last in the EU by number of administered vaccines per capita.

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The unbearably slow vaccination process in Croatia

Vedrana Simičević

Naum Kajcev 400x500Favoritism, weak strategy and poor communication with the public were the features of the first months of vaccination and they are the reasons that Croatia is currently at the bottom of the EU scale in terms of percentage of vaccinated population. As the third wave of the pandemic rages, the citizens are frustrated to see healthy middle-aged people already vaccinated in some cities, while elsewhere those over 70 are still waiting for a call.

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It will happen when it happens! – The vaccination entanglement in North Macedonia

Stefan Ristovski, Angel Mojsovski

Ristovski MojsovskiThe number of people who are infected and have passed has increased significantly in the past period, while the epidemiological situation in the country is critical. The way the authorities are handling the crisis raises the dilemma of whether the health of citizens is truly the number one priority in this pandemic.

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