Prime Minister Florin Citu on Tuesday said he would ask the European Commission for an extra 8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine so “life can get back to normal” in Romania.
He says the extra does will allow more than 10 million people in Romania to be inoculated against the coronavirus.
The country has registered 677,000 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began and almost 17,000 deaths.
Romania began its coronavirus vaccine rollout in late December with health staff the first to be inoculated.
The head of Department for Emergency Situations, Raed Arafat, who has been at the forefront of the efforts to limit the spread of the virus was vaccinated on Monday. President Klaus Iohannis is due to get a jab on Friday, his office said.
The prime minister said Tuesday that he had “approved a request to the European Commission to ask for 8 million more BioNTech-Pfizer vaccines…. to add to the 12.78 million doses already contracted by Romania.”
The European Commission on Jan. 8 proposed to the EU Member States to purchase an additional 200 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by BioNTech and Pfizer, with the option to acquire another 100 million doses.
In addition to the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, a second vaccine, produced by Moderna, was authorized by the Commission on 6 January 2021. Other vaccines are expected to be approved soon.
These ‘vital doses’ will allow for the vaccination of 10.42 million people and will allow “a return to a normal life,” Mr. Citu said.
Besides the Pfizer vaccine, Romania has contracted 3.4 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, he said.
“Every person who is vaccinated means more people are saved and it is a step ahead of beating Covid-19,” the prime minister said in a post on Facebook.