First COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in Romania in Q1 2021, president says
The Romanian authorities expect the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in Romania in the first quarter of 2021, president Klaus Iohannis said. According to him, Romania is set to receive more than 10 million doses of vaccine from those contracted by the European Commission.
"We're all hoping for a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine being developed as soon as possible, and the efforts made at the international level confirm everyone's desire to have this vaccine. Romania is part of the agreements concluded by the European Commission for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines when they will be available, and our country will have an allocation of over 10 million doses of vaccine," Iohannis said on Tuesday, November 3, after a meeting with health specialists.
"Due to the extremely high global demand and the rather low production capacity, the vaccine will reach European countries in stages. We expect the first batch to arrive in Romania, in the most favorable scenario, in the first quarter of next year," he added.
All European states will receive the COVID-19 vaccines at the same time, the Romanian president also explained.
The healthcare workers and people from high-risk groups will be the first to get the vaccine once it arrives in Romania. Vaccination of the entire population will start in the spring, at the earliest, Iohannis also said.
Romania must get ready for the moment the COVID-19 vaccine arrives in the country and draw up an effective action plan for the entire health system, "from the family doctor to the hospital level." The authorities have to establish the vaccination centers and the family doctors must be well trained.
"The health minister showed me the anti-COVID vaccination strategy in Romania, the vaccine platforms, the legal framework, as well as how the national program and the stages of vaccination, and the storage and distribution network will be organized. All these aspects are very important and are also being analyzed at the European level because the new vaccine needs special transport and storage conditions," Klaus Iohannis said.
The development of one or more vaccines against COVID-19 will be essential for pandemic control and economic recovery, the Romanian president also said. But, until then, "it is imperative to respect with maximum responsibility all the protection and prevention measures," he added.
In related news, Alexandru Rafila, Romania's representative at the World Health Organization and a candidate of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) at the upcoming general elections, said that, most likely, five million Romanians would receive the COVID-19 vaccine by next summer, News.ro reported. In his opinion, Romania has to start organizing the vaccination campaign early.
Rafila also said that an "unprecedented effort" has been made in research and funding to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and that three such vaccines are currently in advanced studies. One of them is likely to receive marketing authorization by the end of this year or in the first month of next year, after which two more vaccines will be placed on the market.
(Photo source: Presidency.ro)