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April 18, 2021

Cantgrip vaccine, tested on children for EUR 600, media

In the absence of official reactions following the complaints made about the way in which the Cantgrip vaccine is being tested, ‘Romania Libera’ daily infiltrated one of the clinics in which children from poor families are exposed by their parents and by the doctors to unknown risks. The children are officially considered volunteers. Unofficially their parents are paid around EUR 600.

Meanwhile, the government authorities have decided: children with ages ranging from 6 to 16 years will be given the flu shot against the A/H1N1 vaccine. According to the Health Ministry officials, the vaccination campaign will most likely start in the following weeks, considering that the final stage of testing is almost complete. Apart from the controversies surrounding the campaign to vaccinate children, controversies that are far more serious than those that surrounded the campaign to vaccinate adults, the final stage of the tests itself is raising question marks: according to Radu Iordachel, the director of the Cantacuzino Institute, the final stage consisted of testing the Cantgrip vaccine on 400 children in Timisoara and Arad.

However what the officials do not want to clarify is something else: in what conditions can a minor be subjected to medical tests that could be damaging for health, whether the children’s families are paid or not, what is the legal and moral right of an adult to decide that a child can be used as a guinea-pig and can be exposed to the vaccine’s potentially harmful reactions. Instead of obtaining clarifications from those responsible in Bucharest and Arad, the ‘Romania Libera’ journalists got evasive answers.

‘The study is confidential,’ Dr. Dana Negru, deputy director of the Arad Public Health Office (DSP), stated. ‘It is an internal procedure of the company that conducts the testing. It has nothing to do with us,’ Radu Iodachel, the director of the Cantacuzino Institute, stated in turn. The Health Ministry’s Press Bureau stated that it is currently unable to offer information. The Cantgrip vaccine is tested on children by the IFE Human Pharmacology company (recently renamed Pierrel Research HP-RO), which has working points in Arad and Timisoara. In Arad the company’s headquarters is located within a block of flats on the outskirts of the city, alongside three consulting rooms belonging to family doctors. Among those consulting rooms there is one belonging to Dr. Rodica Lenesiu, the mother of Dr. Diana Zoller, the latter being the person that coordinates the vaccine tests. Considering those connections, the company has all the traits of a family business.

On the other hand, the state secretary within the Ministry of Health, Adrian Streinu-Cercel, told yesterday to „Adevarul de Seara“ newspaper, that the second wave of sicknesses caused by A-H1N1 virus came to an end. A new wave will probably appear this summer, he added.

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