Original Article

Making the case for cross-border public health stratagies: a compartivie assessment of Covid-19 epidemiological trends in the Balkan countries across 17 months.


 Introduction: COVID-19 spread globally, including across the Balkans, resulting in different morbidity and
mortality outcomes in different countries. The aim of this study was to review the impact of COVID-19
over 17 months with regards to pandemic progression, implemented mitigation strategies, and COVID-19
vaccination programs across the Balkan countries, while identifying any valuable pieces of information
acquired serendipitously throughout the pandemic that can be implemented in future action plans.
Methods: A longitudinal ecological study was conducted across the Balkan countries from the onset of
COVID-19 in these countries up until 1st August 2021. Epidemiological data was obtained from Our World
in Data databases, while Ministry of Health websites for each respective country as well as local newspapers
were utilized to review COVID-19-related mitigation and vaccination strategies. Comparisons of vaccination
coverage, incident cases and mortality were made across neighboring countries, by converting the respective
data to rates per 100,000 population for each country using Microsoft® Excel for mac (Version 16.59).
Results: More than 10 million positive COVID-19 cases and 164,470 deaths were observed across the Balkan
countries up until 1st August 2021. Trends in COVID morbidity and mortality outcomes were evident across
neighbouring countries. A staggered vaccination rollout was observed, with various rollout speeds, although
gradual decline in both morbidity and mortality occurred.
Conclusion: Results obtained from this study strongly indicate that COVID-19 outcome for a particular
country is not only dependent on the country’s own level of viral transmission, mitigations, and vaccination
rates but also on neighbouring countries’ COVID-19 situation. Hence, cross-border governance action and
recovery plans are recommended along with targeting vaccination hesitance.

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IssueVol 8 No 2 (2022) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/jbe.v8i2.10416
Coronavirus Europe Morbidity Mortality Mass Vaccinations Epidemiology

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How to Cite
Cuschieri S, Carabott A, Caruana R, Farrugia M, Ferriggi A, Grech E, Pacw A, Attard-Mallia T, Attard N, Attard N, Camilleri E, Calleja J, Baldacchino M, Magri D, Mangion N, Cuschieri A. Making the case for cross-border public health stratagies: a compartivie assessment of Covid-19 epidemiological trends in the Balkan countries across 17 months. JBE. 2022;8(2):181-194.