COVID-19: Romania receives first batch of Moderna vaccines
The first batch of 14,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Romania on Tuesday evening, January 12.
The doses will be stored at the Cantacuzino National Institute in Bucharest. Then, they will be distributed to regional and vaccination centers in the following days, the official RO Vaccinare platform announced on Facebook.
Romania officially started the vaccination campaign on December 27 and has so far used only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The two types of vaccines - Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech - are very similar and have essentially equivalent degrees of efficacy. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection, while the Moderna vaccine is 94.1% effective, RO Vaccinare explained. It’s not yet known if any of these vaccines prevent asymptomatic infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Both vaccines require two shots: the recommended interval between Pfizer-BioNTech doses is 21 days, while for Moderna is 28 days.
On Tuesday, prime minister Florin Citu announced that he approved the submission to the European Commission of a request for Romania to receive another 8 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine out of the 200 million additionally negotiated at the European level.
“More precisely, we’re talking about a request for another 8,055,394 doses of vaccine, which will be added to the 12,780,080 million doses produced by BioNTech/Pfizer and already contracted by Romania. In other words, vital doses that will ensure the immunization of 10,417,737 people, who can return to a normal life,” Citu said on Facebook.
The PM also said that, in addition to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, Romania also contracted about 3.4 million doses produced by Moderna.
Romania’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign is carried out in three stages. The first one, which started on December 27, targeted the medical personnel. The second phase, which begins this Friday, January 15, covers vulnerable groups and those working in essential areas, while the third stage includes the rest of the population.
More than 140,000 people in Romania received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by Tuesday, January 12.
(Photo source: Piero Cruciatti/Dreamstime.com)