Romania halts delivery of vaccine shipments

Romania has halted the delivery of several COVID-19 vaccine shipments, thus the country will receive 2,635,680 doses instead of the 7,103,160 doses planned for June, Secretary of State to the Ministry of Health Andrei Baciu announced on Tuesday.

Baciu said that the legal framework is already being prepared for the Health Ministry to be able to donate or resell excess vaccine doses.

For the time being, however, for inventory purposes, Romania has asked for the suspension of some COVID-19 vaccine shipments, as there is already a surplus of vaccines. The surplus has formed because, after a good start, the vaccination campaign slowed down in Romania. According to the statistics published by the government, from December 27, 2020, until June 17, 2021, a total of 8,661,632 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the country.  Furthermore, a total of 4,606,652 people received the jab, with 4,294,484 of them having been immunized according to the complete schedule. The country’s total population is said to be somewhat more than 19 million.

As the maszol.ro news portal pointed out in a recent piece, according to the vaccine shipment schedule, Romania ought to have received 4,366,444 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, but only 1,928,162 doses will be delivered. Furthermore, 853,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine should have been delivered this month, but only 128,400 doses will arrive. The shipments of the Johnson&Johnson product will arrive according to the originally planned schedule, with a total of 411,920 doses. In addition, Romania will receive 167,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

A total of 7,103,160 doses of coronavirus vaccine should have been shipped to Romania this month, but in order to effectively manage the existing stockpile, the country requested only 2,635,680 of the amount. Up until today, nearly 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Romania, the maszol.ro news portal summed up.

As the secretary of state noted, the European Commission had already anticipated at the beginning of the vaccination campaign that sooner or later there might occur a surplus of vaccine doses. Thus, the contracts were drafted so that excess doses could be passed along as donations or could be resold. Romania is currently supporting the Republic of Moldova with vaccines.

Title image: Romania halted the delivery of more than 4.5 million vaccine doses, as the vaccination campaign has slowed down in recent weeks. The image is an illustration

Source: latimes.com

Author: Éva Zay