Romania, short of Covid shots, pushes back vaccines for elderly, key workers

Romania’s Covid vaccine rollout has run into trouble after pharmaceutical companies delivered almost 120,000 less shots than promised, authorities said.

Vaccine czar Valeriu Gheorghita said people’s appointments for getting Covid shots would be pushed back by about 10 days due to the shortage.

Romania is currently in the second phase of the vaccination program which targets elderly people, those with chronic disease and essential workers.

Elderly people and others with chronic illnesses lined up to get vaccines on Wednesday at the Romexpo vaccine center in Bucharest. Some grumbled they had to wait in the cold until their appointment.

Snow fell in Bucharest and southern Romania overnight, bringing a new polar wave to parts of the country.

Romania completed the first phase of the vaccination campaign on January 15, and more than 90% of health professionals have received shots, Dr Gheorghita said.

He said 1.8 million were scheduled to get jabs by April, while Romania hopes to have vaccinated 10.4 million people by September.

He said there was “a deficit of 117,000 doses,” mainly down to 53% fewer doses being shipped than planned.

Some 35,000 key workers who had appointments from Thursday onward will have their vaccines rescheduled 10 days later. Thursday’s appointments will be moved back to February 8, he said and others will also be shifted accordingly.

Romania has received more than 784,000 vaccine doses from Pfizer, of which about 610,500 doses have been distributed. Moderna has sent 14,000 and will ship 21,000 by the end of the month and 53,000 more in February.

Romania reported 3, 3174 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday following 33,215 tests giving a positivity rate of 9.56%. It was the first time since January that there have been more than 3,000 cases in a single day, although there were more tests than usual, too.

Some 77 patients with Covid-19- succumbed to the disease, of which all but five had underlying health conditions.


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