How to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Romania: Online appointments, mobile and drive-through centers & more
As more COVID-19 vaccines arrive in the country, the Romanian authorities are trying to make it easier for people to get vaccinated by adding extra options such as mobile and drive-through vaccination centers, or even organizing "vaccination marathons" in big cities. Online appointments are also available, and family doctors are set to join the program as well.
Hundreds of vaccination centers are currently open throughout Romania, and those who want to get the vaccine can just book an appointment at the nearest one. That can be done on the dedicated online platform - here. After registration, users just have to choose a vaccination center and make an appointment if places are available, or sign up on a waiting list and wait for a spot to open up. An interactive map of all vaccination centers is also available on the online platform.
Things are easier for those who want to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. As of mid-April, those interested can receive this particular vaccine without advance appointments on the vaccination platform, but only at centers using this vaccine and where places are available. Check the online interactive map to see which centers use the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The authorities also launched the first mobile vaccination centers earlier this month, in several counties such as Arad, Bacau, Constanta, Ilfov, Maramures, Mehedinti, and Sibiu, according to the local media. This option is to be expanded to other counties as well, as the authorities hope that this solution would help them boost rural access to the vaccine. Vaccination at mobile centers can be done without a prior appointment on the online platform, but people need to show an identity document at the center.
Then, there are also the drive-through centers. The first such location opened in Deva on April 24, and, according to official data, it was quite a success: more than 1,200 people were vaccinated in the first two days. A second center opened in Cluj-Napoca on Monday, April 26. Similar locations are also set to open in Bucharest and other big cities across the country in the coming period. Vaccination at drive-through centers is done without a prior appointment (but an ID is required).
To speed up the campaign, the Romanian authorities also decided to organize so-called "vaccination marathons" in big cities. More than 6,700 people got vaccinated at the first such event in Timisoara, which started on Friday afternoon, April 23, and ended on Monday morning, April 26. Participants had to only show an ID to receive the vaccine. Another "vaccination marathon" will be held in Bucharest on the May 7-9 weekend. Plus, according to the local media, Valeriu Gheorghita, the coordinator of the national vaccination campaign, announced that similar events are to be organized in big university centers - Targu Mures, Cluj, Iasi, and Craiova.
According to official announcements, family doctors will also start to vaccinate their patients from May 4. Valeriu Gheorghita announced a few days ago that over 3,000 family doctors had joined the COVID-19 vaccination program.
How is the vaccination campaign going in Romania?
Romania kicked off its national vaccination campaign on December 27, 2020, and has used the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines. The country also received the first batch of 60,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on April 14, but it hasn't started to use them yet.
The vaccination campaign picked up speed in recent weeks as more vaccines arrived in the country. At present, around 90,000 people are vaccinated in Romania per day. In total, more than 3 million people received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far: over 1.24 million people got the first dose, and almost 1.8 million received both doses (according to the April 25 report).
The Romanian authorities' plan is for the country to have 10 million vaccinated people by the end of September or sooner. However, according to a MedLife study released a few days ago, the Romanians' COVID-19 vaccination intentions are well below initial expectations. The study implies that the official target would be met much later.
Doctor Valeriu Gheorghita said that, according to sociological data, young people under the age of 30-35 are most "reluctant" to the vaccine, as they are in the category least affected by the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
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