The Romanian government has confirmed that it plans to start delivering coronavirus vaccines to Ireland in the coming weeks, rejecting fears that the deal will not go ahead.
On July 2, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Ireland would buy 1 million mRNA vaccines after Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said his country was trying to sell vaccines due to low vaccination rates.
«We are currently in technical discussions with our Irish counterparts and aim to secure delivery soon, in the following weeks,» Andre Pasio, Minister of State for Romania’s Ministry of Health, told The Irish Times.
The vice-chairman of Romania’s vaccination program coordinating committee also played down concerns that the Irish/Romanian deal might cause problems.
He said, «Moving such a quantity of highly sensitive biological products is not an easy task and requires proper planning. Specialists from both countries are working together to sort out the final logistical details.»
The deliveries could boost the government’s planned launch of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for teens over the summer.
Early details of the deal indicated that Romania would send Ireland about 700,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNtech and 300,000 doses of Moderna, but Dr Baciu said the exact split had not been determined.
«The exact volume of each vaccine to be delivered to Ireland will depend on balancing the final logistical solutions identified, the availability of the vaccine and the (domestic) needs of both vaccines,» he said.
Dr. Paseo declined to reveal the price paid, but insisted that «Romania is not seeking financial profit from this operation» because it is looking for buyers for doses that may expire without being used in his country.
date of use
Romania halted imports of most Covid-19 vaccines this month and sold Pfizer/BioNTech spare shots to Denmark, while also seeking to extend the validity of tens of thousands of AstraZeneca’s up-to-date shots.
“We sold 1.17 million doses of the vaccine to Denmark, and donated more than half a million doses to the Republic of Moldova, 100,800 to Ukraine, 30,000 to Argentina, and 50,400 to Serbia. These are the agreements that have been finalized until right Now».
He said Romania has received a total of more than 17.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, and now has just over 6 million rounds in stock.
«There are 1.4 million doses that expire at the end of August … hence the importance of managing the stock efficiently,» he said.
Like many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Romania has seen a sharp drop in the rate of Covid-19 vaccinations in recent weeks, and is now administering around 20,000 doses per day compared to 100,000 per day in June.
According to the European Center for Disease Control, Romania and Bulgaria have the lowest vaccination rates in the European Union, with 31.5 per cent and 18.8 per cent of their respective populations receiving at least one dose – well below the EU average of 69.7 per cent and Ireland at 85.1 percent.
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