Romania has received more than 28.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since the end of 2020, but less than 60% were used for its own people. Some 3.5 million doses were sold to other countries, 2.2 million were donated, and almost one million of what is left, has expired.
Romania is one of the least vaccinated countries in Europe, with just 42% of its total population having taken both jabs. However, it is also one of the countries that regularly buys vaccines provided through deals signed by the European Commission.
Since 27 December 2020, Romania has received 28.65 million doses of the main four COVID-19 vaccines authorised in the EU, according to data provided to HotNews by the vaccination coordination committee CNCAV.
However, until 9 January, a little more than 16 million were administered to people living in Romania. Romania chose to sell 1.17 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine to Denmark and another 1.49 million to South Korea. The Romanian government also sold 912,000 Moderna vaccines to Germany.
Romania has additionally donated over two million doses, mostly from AstraZeneca, to several countries. Moldova and Egypt received more than 500,000 doses each, and South Korea received a big batch of 450,000 Moderna doses.
However, almost one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have expired.
Meanwhile, Romania is expecting the first vaccines for children aged 5-11 at the end of next week, although the authorities first said that vaccination of younger children should have started in December.
The only vaccine currently approved in the EU for people younger than 12 is Comirnaty, the BioNTech/Pfizer product. The first delivery of 114,000 doses should arrive in Romania between 21-25 January, with vaccination expected to start by early February.
Authorities are also analysing whether to reduce the booster timeline to less than six months. The vaccination committee will hold discussions regarding the booster timelines in the coming days, as other countries have made similar decisions.
After the national television TVR reported that the timeline will be lowered to four months, CNCAV said a decision had not been taken, and the four-month timeline is one of the proposals. Moreover, there could be different timelines for different vaccines.
Currently, people above 12 can only get a booster shot if six months have passed since receiving their full vaccination cycle, whether it be two doses, or the Johnson & Johnson single-dose jab.
(Bogdan Neagu | EURACTIV.ro)