Thursday, January 20

COVID vaccines surge in Romania after record daily deaths

The rate of vaccination has more than doubled in Romania after the country recorded its highest daily death toll from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Romanian authorities announced on October 19 that 574 people had lost their lives to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, a record for the country of 19.3 million people.

The number of new infections, 18,863, also represented a high pandemic level.

In that day, only 36,826 people received a first dose of the vaccine, 7,863 the second and 24,052 received the booster vaccine for a total of 68,749 doses administered.

Since then, the number of vaccinations has steadily increased to more than 150,600 shots Tuesday. These included 111,033 first doses, with a second and a booster dose for a total of 11,653 and 27,971 respectively.

Romania has the second lowest vaccination rate in the European Union after Bulgaria, with only 37% of adults now fully vaccinated. The EU average is 75%.

“We already expected this increase in the number of people vaccinated in recent days, since the decrease we saw in the summer was mainly due to an extremely good epidemiological situation, given that, for example, we had one case of contagion per day. in the capital, which also allowed the adoption of progressive relaxation measures, “Andrei Baciu, Secretary of State of the Romanian Ministry of Health, told Euronews.

Thus, people who are aware of the benefits of vaccination did not see the danger of imminent infection, a danger that has unfortunately now reappeared and with the recurrence of the danger, obviously, all those who are aware of the protective effects of the vaccine. We decided to vaccinate ourselves with impressive figures, as we see in the latest records, “he added.

Rising infections and hospitalizations are once again pushing the country’s weak health system to the limit and the vast majority of deaths and hospitalizations affect unvaccinated people.

Raed Arafat, Secretary of State for Internal Affairs of the country told reporters on Tuesday that of the 301 fatalities deplored in the last 24 hours, 272 were unvaccinated and 28 of the 29 vaccinated people who lost their lives had comorbidities.

Faced with a deteriorating situation, Bucharest activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism earlier this month with various member states including Austria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Poland, which ship intensive care drugs, ventilators, oxygen concentrators, and other medical equipment and accessories.

Neighbors Moldova and Serbia also sent aid.

New restrictions were also put in place on Friday, including the requirement to present a vaccination certificate to access most entertainment venues.

Baciu noted that vaccination rates are lower in rural areas, where 47% of the population lives, and said the government “will intensify communication and vaccination actions” in the countryside to increase the numbers.

However, Baciu noted that “a major impact on the reluctance to vaccinate has been the fake news.”

“The fight against disinformation is certainly a challenge that we are trying to overcome in partnership with experts from WHO, UNICEF and the EU,” he continued.

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