Chairman of Romania’s National COVID-19 Vaccination Coordination Committee (CNCAV) Valeriu Gheorghita said on Tuesday that Romania is in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Delta variant of the virus is about to become dominant in the country.
“It is clear that we are currently on an upward trend from an epidemiological point of view; we are in the 4th wave, we are recording rising number of new cases and as a result of the fact that the Delta variant is about to become dominant in Romania,” Gheorghita said at a news conference.
He added that an important reason for the increase in the number of cases now is increased mobility, increased interaction between people, corroborated with the violation of preventative measures, and that is why the situation is not expected to stabilise in the period immediately ahead.
There are signs indicating Delta infection could cause more serious forms among young people
The chairman of the National Coordinating Committee for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination activities, Valeriu Gheorghita, also said on Tuesday that there are signs that Delta infection could cause more serious forms among young people.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing what is happening in the United States as well. There are signs, although it is not yet very clear, that Delta infection could cause more serious forms among young people and children, which was atypical until now,” Gheorghita told a press conference.
He added that young people, adolescents and children are also at a much higher risk of getting sick, being a much more communicable variant, and vaccination coverage for young people is much lower.
COVID-19 vaccine coverage, almost 49pct in Bucharest
The military physician Valeriu Gheorghita announced on Tuesday that in Bucharest almost 49% of people are vaccinated among the eligible population aged 12 years and over.
“Regarding the vaccine coverage, it is almost 49% in Bucharest, so we will easily reach 50% vaccination coverage among the eligible population aged 12 years and over; Cluj County is next, at 45.2% vaccination coverage among the eligible residing population,” Gheorghita said at a news conference.
He added that there are 12 counties in Romania that have a vaccination coverage rate above the national average – 30%; there are another 27 counties that have vaccination coverage rate of between 20% and 29.9% and there are only three counties where vaccine coverage is under 20 %.
“Also, at the level of the mass vaccination campaign, since December 27, almost 5.19 million people have got vaccinated with at least one dose, with most of them – over 5 million people – being fully vaccinated,” said Gheorghita.
He added that the 12-15-years age group has a vaccination coverage rate of about 4%.
“There are almost 33,000 children aged 12 to 15 who have received at least one dose of the vaccine and over 150,000 young people between the ages of 16 and 19 who have received at least one dose of vaccine; basically we are talking about a percentage of vaccine coverage of about 20%.”
The 60-69 age group has the highest vaccination coverage, of almost 39%, followed by 50-59 group, almost 37.5% and the 70-79 age group – 36%.
In the over 80 age group we have about 19.5% vaccine coverage rate and an assessment by the National Public Health Institute (INSP) for the weeks August 2 – 15 shows a more pronounced trend of cases of disease in the over 80 age group, where the risk of trending to severe forms is higher, Gheorghita also said.
He drew attention to the fact that there is a trend of new cases in young people. Also, the average age of deaths is decreasing, currently standing at 67 as against 71 as previously known, and for registered deaths, while 94.5% of them included comorbidities, currently in deaths recorded in the weeks of August 2-15 only 88.3% of the deceased had comorbidities.
Gheorghita said that this strengthens the higher probability of severe forms of COVID-19 being developed, including among younger people and those who do not have associated chronic diseases, which is worrying.
“As we have already revealed, at the moment, the vaccination against COVID-19 can prevent the loss of human lives and deaths. (…),” Gheorghita also said.
Regarding side effects nationwide, he noted that as of August 23, 16,976 cases of post-vaccination adverse reactions had been reported, with a reporting rate of 1.75 per 1,000 doses administered, most of which were general, common, anticipated reactions, such as fever, headache, myalgia, arthralgia, asthenia and mild allergic reactions such as hives.
Each school might be assigned mobile vaccination team
Chairman of Romania’s National COVID-19 Vaccination Coordination Committee (CNVAS) Valeriu Gheorghita said on Tuesday that it is desirable that each school be assigned a mobile team for vaccination in order to increase access of all those who want to get immunised.
“Vaccination in schools: our main concern is to increase access to vaccination for all those who want to get vaccinated and here I am referring to eligible children over the age of 12, but at the same time teachers, educational staff and children – parents, grandparents, those who live under the same roof will also have the opportunity to get vaccinated,” Gheorghita said at a news conference.
He mentioned that there will certainly be schools where it will be possible to organise independent vaccination offices, which will operate for the time when there are people who want to get immunised.
Gheorghita added that it is confirmed that COVID-19 transmission exists both from parents or grandparents to children, as well as vice versa, so vaccination is the main way to contain the virus, the caseload, along with compliance with other preventative measures, with the most important of which being the protective mask and the observance of personal hygiene measures.
He added that, together with the Ministry of Education, online information actions will be carried out, from September during meetings with parents, in which officials of the public health directorates or the medical workers from each county will be present and answer to questions that parents and teachers may have about vaccination.
Compiled from Agerpres