Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu said Thursday that everyone in Romania will be eligible for a free flu jab as authorities take steps to limit the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.
Previously, only certain categories of people qualified for a free flu jab, including those aged 65 or over, pregnant women, healthcare professionals and those with certain medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease and chronic diseases.
“The anti-flu vaccine needs to continue and during the pandemic preventing sickness of any kind is essential,” Mr Voiculescu said.
“The risks of getting Covid and flu lead to a grave form of the illness, something that’s been scientifically demonstrated,” he said.
Romania reported 4,424 new cases on Wednesday and 88 deaths. Cases have fallen in recent weeks after authorities shut schools, introduced a curfew ordered the closure of restaurants without outdoor seating.
“We are extending the anti-flu vaccine for free for all population groups,” the health minister said Thursday.
The health ministry said that the vaccine was “the safest and most efficient way to prevent people getting sick with the flu and recommends people ask for it for free from their family doctor.”
Romania began its Covid vaccine rollout last month, with healthcare professionals the first to get the jab.
The statement also said hygiene measures such as hand washing and using a tissue for coughs and sneezes and a healthy lifestyle were important ways to prevent respiratory diseases.