“We will transform several AstraZeneca vaccination centers into Pfizer centers, thus ensuring that as many people as possible can receive the vaccine,” Romanian Prime Minister Florin Cîțu announced on Friday while visiting Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca). The PM also announced the opening of drive-through vaccination centers in the country, Hungarian news portal maszol.ro reports.
Romanian Prime Minister Florin Cîțu visited Kolozsvár on Friday morning and stopped at the vaccination center set up in the Ion Creangă School to take some selfies with those getting the vaccine.
“Currently, we are able to vaccinate 115,000 people a day, but we would like to reach 120,000. The vaccines have arrived, the vaccination centers are prepared — it solely depends on the people. If we want to return to our pre-pandemic life, it is necessary to vaccinate ourselves. We would like to reach 5 million vaccinated by June 1,” the prime minister said at a press conference on Friday.
Over the last week, the daily rate of vaccinations in the country increased nearly 1.5 times, reaching approximately 80,000 on Friday. At the same time, the number of those on the waiting list has halved in a week: On Friday, only 300.000 people were on the waiting lists of the vaccination booking portal, the vast majority of whom were registered at the vaccination centers administering the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. The number of vaccination appointments that can be booked without waiting has surpassed 100,000, 60,000 of which are for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
According to maszol.ro, Florin Cîțu also said that he is not afraid of the vaccination campaign being stifled, that there will be more vaccine than people interested in getting a vaccine. The PM said their aim is in fact to decrease the number of people on the waiting lists and to make it possible for people to get the vaccine in just a couple of days. Cîțu added: Kolozsvár is at the forefront of the country, as 30 percent of its residents are vaccinated, thus the city could “open its the economy” sooner. The prime minister also said that the government will start to ease the coronavirus restrictions when 35 percent of the population has been vaccinated.
Florin Cîțu announced several changes in the vaccination process as well. Several drive-through Pfizer vaccination centers will be set up in the country to speed up vaccinations. According to the plans, one will open in Kolozsvár this week. The PM also said that Romania will receive more Pfizer vaccines in the upcoming period, as the demand for AstraZeneca vaccine has dropped. At the same time, anyone can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine without booking an appointment if there are available appointments at the vaccination center and no one is on the waiting list.
“We will transform several AstraZeneca vaccination centers into Pfizer centers, thus ensuring that as many people as possible can receive the vaccine. In addition, we will also make it possible for companies and economic operators to vaccinate in their own vaccination centers,” Florin Cîțu said. The PM announced that starting Friday, people who use the booking portal can check which vaccine is being used at each vaccination center and how many people are in front of them on the waiting list.
Title image: The demand for the AstraZeneca vaccine has decreased in Romania. Since Friday, people can walk into AstraZeneca centers and get a dose without an appointment if there are no people registered on the waiting list for that center. Photo: France24