AstraZeneca vaccination will go on in Romania, yet health authorities have decided on Thursday evening, as a precautionary measure, to take the doses left from the ABV2856 batch out of the vaccination centres, and to replace them by other doses from other AstraZeneca batches received by Romania. Italy has banned the ABV2856 batch of AstraZeneca vaccine after ‘adverse events’.
In Romania it was about 4,257 doses in some vaccination centres in Bacău, Bihor, Botoșani, Dolj, Gorj, Iași, Neamț, Suceava, Timiș, Vâlcea, Vaslui counties, and 60 doses from the National Regional Storage Centre in Craiova.
These doses will be withdrawn and ‘quarantined’, meaning they will be stored under low temperatures conditions as recommended by the producer.
Therefore, the vaccination procedure with the AstraZeneca jab continues in Romania, with authorities mentioning that the people who have already got vaccinated with the firs dose of AstraZeneca, regardless of the batch, have the rappel assured.
These vaccines from the ABV2856 batch to be withdrawn are part of a larger batch, of 81,600 doses received by Romania on February 7. Out of these 77,049 doses have been used. They were distributed in Arad, Bacău, Bihor, Bistrița-Năsăud, Botoșani, Caraș Severin, Cluj, Dolj, Galați, Gorj, Hunedoara, Iași, Maramureș, Mehedinți, Neamț, Olt, Sălaj, Satu Mare, Suceava, Timiș, Vâlcea and Vaslui.
As for the ABV5300 batch, for which some EU countries have suspended the vaccination, Romania DID NOT receive any doses of it. 1.6 million doses of the ABV5300 batch of AstraZeneca were distributed in 17 countries in the Europena Union (Lithuania, Estonia, Luxembourg, Ireland, Latvia, Bulgaria, Austria, Greece, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, France, Iceland).
Some states like Austria, Denmark, Iceland and Norway have stopped administering the shot of the ABV5300 batch as a precaution after an unconfirmed number of people developed blood clots. However, the authority stopped short of saying there was a direct link between the vaccine and the blood clots, “at the time being.”
Romanian PM Florin Citu said on Thursday that AstraZeneca vaccines distributed in Romania are not part of the problematic batch from Austria, following which several countries have suspended immunization with this type of serum, stressing that vaccination will continue at the same pace and the appointments for the third stage will start on March 15.
“From the information we have so far, the batch in which those few problems appeared was not distributed in Romania, so we do not have this batch in Romania. We will see what decision we will take, but the vaccination campaign goes on. We have already announced today that we will receive an additional 170,000 Pfizer doses in March, and as you know, we agreed in January to supplement the Pfizer doses by 8 million, which will start in April. So there is no problem for Romania to continue at the same pace as before the vaccination campaign”, Florin Citu told B1 TV.
Citu reiterated that the appointments for the third stage of vaccination will start on March 15. “We will kick off the third stage with everyone, so we are starting faster just to return to normal faster“.
The European Medicines Agency also issued a statement on Thursday according to which “immunisation with vaccines produced by AstraZeneca is still recommended.”