Romanian health expert says COVID-19 vaccine will not be mandatory
The vaccine against the new coronavirus will not be mandatory, as confidence in a vaccine must be built, not imposed, said Alexandru Rafila, Romania's representative at the World Health Organization and a candidate of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) at the upcoming general elections.
"This vaccine will certainly not be mandatory. Or let's say these vaccines because we are talking about more than one," Rafila said at local news channel Antena 3, News.ro reported.
"Surely this vaccine will not be mandatory for children, adults or anyone else, and obviously the trust in the vaccine should be built not imposed, so I am convinced that this discussion about making it mandatory is not being taken into account, as least if we are talking about these new vaccines," he added.
Alexandru Rafila also said that, according to some opinion polls, the rate of acceptability of such a vaccine stands at around 50%.
"It's important that, by vaccinating doctors and people from high-risk categories, to increase the confidence in the vaccine, but this is linked to a very good information campaign for the general public that must be sincere, transparent and professional; and then surely if people see that those who have received the vaccine have not developed side effects, they become protected from the disease, they will certainly have the confidence to get vaccinated," Rafila explained.
According to a survey quoted by Agerpres, more than 38% of Romanians would not vaccinate against COVID-19 if such a treatment would be made available in the next period. 30% said they would wait a while and vaccinate only if they see no side effects at other people, 21.8% said they would get the vaccine, and 8% would only accept if they were told more about the treatment.
The same survey, conducted by the Larics Center for Sociological Research (CCSL) in partnership with the Romanian Association of International Drug Manufacturers (ARPIM) and with the Institute of Political Science and International Relations (ISPRI), under the auspices of the Department of Medical Sciences of the Romanian Academy, said that more than 44% of Romanians believe that vaccination should be discussed for each individual. Meanwhile, 26.6% of respondents considered that the risks of immunization are more significant than the benefits, while 25.5% see the benefits of vaccination as much greater than the risks.
Of the respondents, 55.24% stated that they generally agree with vaccines and vaccination. 35.46% said that vaccination is suitable only in certain cases, and 8.49% said they disagree with such treatment.
President Klaus Iohannis said earlier this month that the Romanian authorities expect the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in Romania in the first quarter of 2021. According to him, Romania is set to receive more than 10 million doses of vaccine from those contracted by the European Commission.
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