Romania starts administering third dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Receiving the third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is possible in Romania beginning Tuesday, September 28. Booster shots are offered to those who received the second dose at least six months ago.
Only mRNA vaccines (Pfizer&BioNTech or Moderna) will be used for the third dose, including for those who were initially vaccinated with AstraZeneca. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine started being used in Romania on May 4, so no third dose is needed yet in the case of those vaccinated with it.
According to Health Secretary of State Andrei Baciu, Romania currently has 2.2 million doses of Pfizer BioNTech and 1.2 million doses of Moderna in stock.
“You can receive any of the available mRNA vaccines. So if we have been vaccinated with Moderna, we can be vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer BioNTech, but our recommendation will be for the same type of vaccine. We are talking about Pfizer and Moderna. If someone wants to make a switch for various reasons, they can do it without any problems,” Baciu told Digi24.
“If we have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca, which was not produced using the mRNA technology, we will get one of the two mRNA vaccines - Pfizer or Moderna - for the third dose,” he explained.
Those who want to receive the third dose can book an appointment on the Government-run platform Programare.vaccinare-covid.gov.ro or go to a vaccination centre without a prior appointment.
“We can go to any vaccination centre with the ID card, without the need for an appointment. But those who want to register on the booking platform, for any reason, can also do so,” Andrei Baciu said.
The third dose is recommended to people at risk of developing severe forms of the illness – people over 65, those who have chronic diseases (regardless of age), those in care-medical centres, and other vulnerable categories outlined in the vaccination strategy. It is also recommended to those with a high exposure risk, such as healthcare or teaching staff.
However, other categories, who received the second dose more than six months ago, can also receive the third dose regardless of whether they experienced the illness.
More than 5.48 million people received a COVID-19 vaccine in Romania by September 27, and most of them (over 5.33 million) are fully vaccinated. In total, Romania has used about 10.07 million doses so far.
Meanwhile, the number of daily COVID-19 cases increased significantly since the beginning of the month. The past week’s average was about 7,000 new cases per day.
Local healthcare group MedLife said that the daily count of infections could be 5-7 times higher than the official figures, estimating a total of 35,000 cases a day.
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