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Gheorghita: Vaccination coverage rate accounts for about 30pct at national level. Decision on 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose very likely in September

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Valeriu Gheorghiță

The vaccination coverage rate at national level is currently about 30pct, almost 48pct in Bucharest, followed by Cluj County, with almost 44pct, head of CNCAV (National Committee Coordinating Vaccination Activities against COVID-19), doctor Valeriu Gheorghita, said on Tuesday.

"In terms of the vaccination coverage at national level, for the eligible population resident in Romania, according to the National Institute of Statistics, we are talking about a reference number of 19.3 million people. If we look at the eligible population over 12 years, the vaccination coverage rate is now about 30pct. Regarding the vaccination coverage in Bucharest and by counties, and considering the eligible population over 12, there are 10 counties, including the municipality of Bucharest, which have a vaccination coverage rate of over 30pct, 26 counties that have a coverage rate between 20 and 30pct, and there are six counties that have a vaccination coverage rate between 17 and 20pct. Looking at the highest rates, Bucharest is at almost 48pct vaccination coverage rate, Cluj county at almost 44pct, Sibiu, Timis, Brasov, Constanta, Alba, Ilfov, Mures, Salaj countis are between 30 and 35pct," Valeriu Gheorghita told a press conference at the Government.

He also noted that, more than 4.95 million people were vaccinated nationwide with at least one dose, by the date of July 26, with more than 95pct of them being fully vaccinated, Agerpres informs.

Regarding the profile of the side effects recorded at the national level, the head of CNCAV said a total of 16,776 cases of post-vaccine side effects were reported, with a reporting rate of 1.79 per thousand doses administered.

"For the past week reports showed 47 side effects, with a median age of 34 people reporting these side effects, which were not severe, in any of the cases, most of which were local side effects, and systemic," explained Gheorghita.

Head of the National COIVID-19 Vaccination Coordination Committee (CNCAV) Valeriu Gheorghita said on Tuesday in September there will very likely be a decision on the administration of a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to people at high risk of exposure, such as the healthcare workers, people with chronic diseases, those over 65 years of age.

"There are discussions at the moment about the administration of the booster or, as it is known, the third dose, although we are rightly talking about a booster and not the third dose in people who are at high risk of exposure - and here we are talking, for example, about the category of healthcare and social workers, and people who are registered with chronic diseases, as well as people over the age of 65. The decision to administer dose three or the booster will be very likely this September. Basically, it would come eight months into the vaccination campaign," Gheorghita told a news conference at the Government House.

He added that the relevant officials will take into account the "history of the disease."

"A person who has gone through the disease and has gotten vaccinated with two doses is not precisely required to get the third dose of the vaccine, given that having already been ill of COVIDF-19 is an important factor in activating the immune response," said Gheorghita.

He added that, pending a national decision on the third dose of vaccine, "the authorisation by the European Medicines Agency of this immunisation schedule is expected."

"We are particularly interested in safety data and immunogenicity data," the military doctor explained.

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