Coordinator of national vaccination campaign: Decision to stop or continue Astra Zeneca vaccination the toughest

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Military doctors Valeriu Gheorghiță, the coordinator of the national vaccination campaign told a press conference today that the decision to temporarily halt or continue the vaccination with the AstraZeneca serum had been the toughest, but the benefits brought by the jab were considered.

“It has been probably the toughest decision. The easiest one would have been to say stop. We must though to compare the benefits of the vaccination. We are in the middle of a pandemic, thousands of people are getting infected on a daily basis, ending up in hospitals, some in intensive care, others die.

We must give credit to the European Medicine Agency that has clearly said that the benefits outrank the risks.

The data underlying our decision are the ones that were based on the scientific ground.

We are aware that the pressure and the signal at European level are very strong. The decisions taken so far have been of maximum caution. Compared to the our last decision when we decided to temporarily suspend the ABV2856 batch there are no new elements to change the decision of that moment, so we decided to continue the AstraZeneca vaccination,” Gheorghita said.

He announced that 10 side effects of blood clotting after the administration of the AstraZeneca jab are in the process of analyse in Romania, with most being reported during March 11-14. Overall, in Romania over 30 side effects to all vaccines against COVID-19 are under investigation at the moment.

“There is a committee of physicians who are getting in contact with all people who reported these side effects. All effects are reported by the vaccinated persons, not by the health workers, the person is contacted and he/she is asked for more details to assess that situation,” Valeriu Gheorghiță explained.

The military doctor reminded the risks related to blood clotting events reported in Europe have a frequency that is not higher than the one anticipated among the unvaccinated general population. “The analysis on 17 million people vaccinated with AstraZeneca showed only 37 blood clotting events, so on frequency it is one case per one million vaccinated people“, he said.

According to Gheorghita, 33,000 appointments for the AstraZeneca vaccine have been cancelled in Romania in the past 24 hours. However, a part of the spare seats had been already occupied by other people on standby.

Secretary of state: Romania 6th in Europe, 23rd in the world on number of administered vaccines

Romania ranks 6th in Europe and 23rd in the world on the number of vaccines administered so far within the national vaccination campaign, Andrei Baciu, secretary of state within the Health Ministry.

Romania has received 3,234,000 doses of vaccine till March 15, with 2,201,000 doses already administered.

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