Romania and other Eastern European countries ask to stop buying COVID-19 vaccines they no longer need

Romania and nine other Eastern European states have asked the European Commission to renegotiate vaccine contracts for COVID-19 due to oversupply of doses, risk of expiration, and difficulty in donating the unused ones. Romania has used less than 15% of the total number of vaccines ordered.

At the initiative of Poland, a letter signed by the governments of Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia was addressed to EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyraikides. In it, the group of ten demanded that the number of vaccine doses ordered should be decreased or that orders should be terminated altogether if vaccines are no longer needed, according to Politico.

During the pandemic, the Commission pledged to buy 4.2 billion doses, ten times the population of the European Union. By February 2022, 1.3 billion had been delivered.

The signatories of the letter argue that the initial order vastly exceeds the present demand for vaccines, and that many doses will be delivered close to their expiration date, and will therefore go to waste.

The ten EU eastern members have the lowest vaccination rates in the EU. Romania is second-to-last in the EU, with only 42.3% of the population having taken the primary course (two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one shot of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine), compared with the EU average of 72.3%. Meanwhile, less than one in ten Romanians took the booster shot, compared with over half of the EU population. Bulgaria is last in EU, with just 30% of the population vaccinated, according to the ECDC data.

Donating the extra doses has also proven to be difficult, as African countries, for example, now struggle not with the lack of doses, but with the logistical challenge of getting vaccines to where they are needed. As a result, the African Center For Disease Control has asked for a pause in donations until later this year.

Romania ordered 120 million anti-COVID vaccines, according to data presented in July 2021 by former prime minister Florin Citu. Of these, it has used under 17 million doses, according to the latest data on the official platform datelazi.ro.

Romania recently started administering the fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine although international health organizations haven't issued recommendations on the need for it yet.

radu@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Mariusz Burcz | Dreamstime.com)

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Romania and other Eastern European countries ask to stop buying COVID-19 vaccines they no longer need

Romania and nine other Eastern European states have asked the European Commission to renegotiate vaccine contracts for COVID-19 due to oversupply of doses, risk of expiration, and difficulty in donating the unused ones. Romania has used less than 15% of the total number of vaccines ordered.

At the initiative of Poland, a letter signed by the governments of Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia was addressed to EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyraikides. In it, the group of ten demanded that the number of vaccine doses ordered should be decreased or that orders should be terminated altogether if vaccines are no longer needed, according to Politico.

During the pandemic, the Commission pledged to buy 4.2 billion doses, ten times the population of the European Union. By February 2022, 1.3 billion had been delivered.

The signatories of the letter argue that the initial order vastly exceeds the present demand for vaccines, and that many doses will be delivered close to their expiration date, and will therefore go to waste.

The ten EU eastern members have the lowest vaccination rates in the EU. Romania is second-to-last in the EU, with only 42.3% of the population having taken the primary course (two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one shot of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine), compared with the EU average of 72.3%. Meanwhile, less than one in ten Romanians took the booster shot, compared with over half of the EU population. Bulgaria is last in EU, with just 30% of the population vaccinated, according to the ECDC data.

Donating the extra doses has also proven to be difficult, as African countries, for example, now struggle not with the lack of doses, but with the logistical challenge of getting vaccines to where they are needed. As a result, the African Center For Disease Control has asked for a pause in donations until later this year.

Romania ordered 120 million anti-COVID vaccines, according to data presented in July 2021 by former prime minister Florin Citu. Of these, it has used under 17 million doses, according to the latest data on the official platform datelazi.ro.

Romania recently started administering the fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine although international health organizations haven't issued recommendations on the need for it yet.

radu@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Mariusz Burcz | Dreamstime.com)

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