Covid 19 vaccination rolls out in Romania, concurrently with campaigns in the other EU member states.
In Romania, just like in most other EU member states, the Covid 19 vaccination campaign started on Sunday. A first batch of 10,000 shots, which arrived the day before, will be enough for 5,000 healthcare staff in 10 COVID hospitals in the country.
This is just the beginning of a first stage in the immunisation effort in Romania, which will cover the personnel in hospitals and care facilities. According to the authorities, in the forthcoming period Romania will receive some 150,000 shots per week. In the second stage of the campaign, the vaccine will be given to several categories, including vulnerable people or key professional groups, while a third stage scheduled for this spring will benefit the rest of the population.
The head of the Department for Emergency Situations Raed Arafat said this is a historic moment, which proves the world has found a solution for the pandemic. He emphasised however that the virus containment measures must still be observed:
Raed Arafat: “This is a hope, the light at the end of the tunnel, but be aware that it doesn’t mean the problem is solved. It doesn’t mean we can overlook the containment measures, including distancing and face covering. This is only the beginning, and it will take some time before we can see the impact. As of today, we will work on two fronts, the vaccination front and the fight against and containment of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”
A lot of hope, but also a lot of reluctance accompanies the arrival of the vaccine, says dr Valeriu Gheorghiţă, coordinator of the vaccination programme. He is however confident that the results will prove that immunisation is the only solution to put an end to the pandemic.
Valeriu Gheorghiţă: “All hesitations, all questions or reluctance are absolutely legitimate. The important thing is for us to be able to provide the answers each and every person needs. We must trust the healthcare staff, we must talk to our family physicians. I believe communication and information are the best ways for anyone to make the best decision to protect their own health, their family and dear ones, and their community.”
Romania targets the vaccination of nearly 11 million people, more than half of the total population, in order to reach an immunisation rate that guarantees the end of the epidemic.
At EU level, the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said in her turn that the vaccination programme is the key to recovery and to ending the coronavirus pandemic. Vaccination will help is to gradually return to our usual life, and once enough people have received the vaccine, we will be able to travel, to meet our friends and families, to have the normal holidays that we miss. But until then, the EU official added, “let’s stay safe together, let’s make 2021 our year of European recovery and hope.” (tr. A. M. Popescu)