Although less than 21% of Romania’s senior citizens gets immunized, authorities in Romania are bracing themselves for the new season with a double quantity of flu vaccine
A free flu vaccination campaign has kicked off in Romania this week,
after the first batch of doses has been distributed nationwide. For this
season, the government has bought three million flu shots, double the quantity
last season in order to ease the people's access to this treatment and lower
the risk posed by influenza against the background of the present COVID-19
The vaccine doses will be distributed to the Public Health Directions in
several stages, like in the previous years. On Monday, the Health Ministry
commenced the distribution of the first 330 thousand doses to the
aforementioned directions, which will deliver to family physicians and medical
units for the immunization of their patients.
The rest are to be distributed in mid-October and in November for the
immunization of individuals at increased risk of severe disease. People over
65, those suffering from chronic diseases, particularly respiratory or
cardiovascular, metabolic issues, children and seniors in foster and retirement
homes, medical personnel and pregnant women will be given priority, according
to recommendations from the World Health Organisation and the European Centre
for Disease Prevention and Control.
As every year the immunization campaign will be carried out through the
family physician offices and other medical units. Given the present
epidemiological situation, experts recommend people outside the high-risk
category to purchase the flu vaccine.
The Health Ministry has called on pharmaceutical units across the
country to get flu vaccine supplies in due time. Flu vaccines have been
recommended by physicians as the most effective protection method against
viruses but Romania is presently at the bottom of a European ranking regarding
the immunization of its senior citizens who are the most vulnerable category.
According to the latest data released by the EU Statistical Office, only
a little over a fifth of Romania's seniors gets flu shots, which accounts for
half of the EU average. From the EU countries only Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia
and Lithuania have reported lower percentages than Romania when it comes to
immunization. Ireland is at the opposite poll with two thirds of its seniors
vaccinated being followed by the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium.