President Klaus Iohannis said he was encouraged by the hundreds of thousands who have booked to get a Covid vaccine after some expressed reservations about getting the shot.
However, even with large numbers of people registering for inoculations, it is not enough to end the pandemic, the president cautioned Tuesday.
“If we want to get back to a normal life then we have to respect the restrictions,” such as compulsory masks and social distancing, „and 60 to 70% of people need to be vaccinated.”
Vaccine czar Valeriu Gheorghita on Tuesday expressed the hope that the pandemic could effectively be over by September if 10 million people in Romania got the vaccine.
The president, who had a Covid jab on Friday, visited a large vaccine center at the Romexpo trade center in northern Bucharest on Tuesday.
“I am very happy that the atmosphere in general is changing and a lot of people want to get vaccinated,” he said. “It’s a change I really want to welcome, a change in attitude and in the coming weeks and months, when we get more doses, more and more people will benefit.”
He said the Romexpo center could give between 3,000 to 4,000 shots a day.
More than 300,000 people registered online to get the vaccine in the first three days of the second phase which started Friday. People over 65, those with chronic illnesses and workers in key sectors are eligible for the jab in the second phase.
Dr. Gheorghita, who’s in charge of vaccine campaign, said that 75% of healthcare personnel had been vaccinated, with some receiving the booster shot which is normally given three to four weeks after the first jab.
So far 235,000 shots have been given in Romania since the rollout began on December 27, with 809 adverse reactions reported. All the reactions were minor and common, Dr. Gheorghita said Tuesday.
The president said Romania would expand its vaccination capacities and hoped that by summer “there will be enough vaccinated people to end this pandemic.”
Bucharest has dozens of places where people can be vaccinated.