President Klaus Iohannis has told a press conference on Tuesday after a meeting with the national health experts on COVID-19 containment measures that Romania expects to receive its first tranche of the COVID-19 vaccine in the first quarter of next year. The first categories to benefit from the vaccination are the medical staff and people exposed to a higher risk if infected. The vaccination of the entire population will kick off next spring, at the earliest.
“We expect to receive the first tranche in the first quarter of next year (…) Vaccination of the entire population will begin next spring, at the earliest,” President Iohannis stated.
The Army, involved in vaccination
At the same time, the Health Minister Nelu Tataru explained on Wednesday that all the state authorities, including the Army, will be involved in the vaccination of the population against COVID-19. He also said that they are already working on a strategy for the vaccination.
Experts say general elections should not be postponed
At the same time, the head of state announced that the general opinion of the experts is that the December general election should not be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At present we are not considering the postponement of the election and the experts do not think postponing it is necessary. We can see what is happening in the world. Even today (Monday) elections are taking place in the United States of America, a country that unfortunately is much harder hit by the pandemic than Romania,” Klaus Iohannis pointed out.
He added that the developments in the ongoing pandemic should be seen as a whole.
“We cannot relate to a certain number, but we must see the whole development and take those measures that allow us to control the spread of the pandemic and then surely the election will be possible,” Iohannis said.
The President argued that the local elections in September had been a good practice in terms of the safety of the voting procedure.
“As for the actual voting, that is election day, there are no complications. We practiced these things during the local elections. The polling stations were very well organised, the health measures were enforced very well,” he said, adding that electioneering will be however different from other years, taking place mostly in the mass media and online.