Romania ready to start Covid-19 vaccination campaign before year-end


Romania is ready to start the Covid-19 vaccination campaign on December 27, Valeriu Gheorghiță, the coordinator of the national committee overseeing the campaign, said on Wednesday, December 16, Mediafax reported.

“The Cantacuzino Institute is adequately equipped to receive the vaccine. The other six regional storage centers are currently being prepared. […] The Cantacuzino Institute can store one million and a half doses, and another 200,000 doses can be stored at the regional centers,” he explained.

The health workers in the first ten Covid-19 hospitals will be the first to get the vaccine. The campaign should last between six-seven months to cover 60-70% of the population, he explained.

Every person who gets vaccinated will receive a certificate, showing the date the vaccine was done and its type. The certificate will be issued in both Romanian and English, on paper or in an electronic format. “It will be similar to a hospital discharge certificate,” he explained.

President Klaus Iohannis explained that the first batch of vaccines to arrive in Romania would consist of 10,000 doses.

“There is a high chance that the European Authority approves the first vaccine right before Christmas; the first batch would distributed between Christmas and New Year’s. From the information we have right now, there will be approximately 10,000 doses. It will be a symbolic batch to start the vaccination. Ten thousand doses are enough for 5,000 people. The next batch is expected in January and will be used mainly for health workers, including those working in homes for the elderly, and so on, and the high-risk groups; the campaign is well prepared,” he said on December 16.

The president also explained that the authorities were working on the first simulations of the vaccination campaign.

“They are already working on the first simulations. Vaccination centers will be simulated, ample vaccination activities, transport, and so on; things are well prepared; what is still needed is the vaccine.”

On Wednesday, December 16, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen called on EU member states to roll out the vaccination on the same day.

“This is a huge task. So let’s start rapidly with the vaccination together, as 27, on the same day. As we have been united through the pandemic, we will get out of it together & united.”

The European Medicines Agency, which regulates the release of medicines in the EU, is set to make a decision on the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine on December 21.

Germany announced it aims to start the roll out Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine on December 27.

Meanwhile, EU Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas called the Covid-19 vaccine a “Christmas gift for all Europeans if all goes well.”