State loses money over the low interest in vaccination campaign

From the RON 2.18 billion allocated for the 2021 vaccination campaign, the Romanian state already spent 1.06 billion as of August 9, Ziarul Financiar reports based on the data of the Ministry of Health. However, while approximately half of the budget is gone, the vaccination campaign is dying and the immunization level of the Romanian population reaches only 25 percent, Hungarian news portal Transindex.ro reports.

According to Transindex.ro, from the 2021 vaccination budget, the state planned to spend 1.68 billion on the purchase of vaccines and 500 million to pay the medical personnel working at vaccination and sanitary centers. Ziarul Financiar stresses that they have requested a more detailed report of where money was spent, but the Ministry never sent one to them, Transindex.ro says.

The draft budget of the vaccination campaign. The first column shows the total budget for 2021, while the second shows the amount spent as of August 9. The first row shows the money allocated and already spent on the salaries of medical personnel working in sanitary centers, the second shows the salaries of the medical staff working in vaccination centers, and the third row indicates the money spent on vaccines. Photo: Ministry of Health

Up until August 9, the state spent RON 900 million to purchase vaccines, 127.1 million to pay the staff working at vaccination centers, and 36.3 million to pay medical personnel at sanitary centers also participating in the vaccination campaign. As of August 9, 4.93 million Romanian had received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, which means that the state spent on average RON 215 per every citizen vaccinated with both doses, Ziarul Financiar reports. A total of 9.51 million doses were administered in the country by the same date, which means that one vaccination costs the state on average RON 112.

The journalists of Ziarul Financiar also said that up until August 9, the Romanian state purchased 18 million doses of vaccines, of which 9.51 million doses were already administered. Thus, payments of 850 million lei for vaccines result in an average acquisition cost to the Romanian state of approximately 50 lei per dose.

Transindex.ro stresses that the figures show that if more people from the country would get vaccinated, the average per-person cost of the vaccination would be lower. By August 9, the state had spent almost half of the budget, however, only one-quarter of the population was immunized. The goal of the Romanian state was to reach 10 million vaccinated citizens – at least with one dose – by September 1. This means that there is a very low interest in the vaccination campaign, but regardless of this, the vaccination centers must operate, so the state is spending more money, the news portal explains.

Based on Ziarul Financiar, Transindex.ro also says that while official data show that only 25 percent of the Romanian population is vaccinated, this might not be the total number of immunized Romanians. It should also be taken into account that approximately 4 million citizens live abroad, in other EU member states, while their permanent residency is in Romania. These citizens might have been vaccinated in another country, meaning they are not in the Romanian vaccination system, but a foreign one.

The latest data of the Romanian vaccination campaign shows that 5,140,000 Romanians have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and of these, 5,011,000 have received both doses. From August 16 to August 17, 13,444 doses of vaccines have been administered in the country.

Title image: Dr. Valeriu Gheorghiță, the president of the national anti-coronavirus campaign coordination committee, also participates in the vaccination of the population. Photo: Ro Vaccinare Facebook Page

Author: Orsi Sarány