Moldova doesn’t have a single vaccine or vaccinated person in the country at this moment. The government expects the first batch to arrive soon and start the vaccination at the end of February, but nobody knows exactly when it will be that day.
Ministry of Health stated on their website that first batches of vaccines will probably arrive in mid-February 2021 from COVAX: 24.570 dozes of BiotNTech/Pfizer and 264.000 dozes of Astra/Zeneca. However, no specific date is mentioned when the immunization will begin. The ministry added in the statement that they will buy vaccines for the whole population later this year from COVAX.
The republic of Moldova doesn’t have the budget to purchase the BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines from the European providers. The country relies on the COVAX program of the World Health Organization that will offer the free vaccine for at least 20% of the population. This is sufficient for just 520.000 people of the 2.6 million inhabitants.
“It is complicated here…Doctors don’t have much to say regarding this, unfortunately, and the ones that had something to say were not heard at all by our authorities,” says Doina Rotaru, a young stomatologist, who comes also from a family of doctors. She added that to have the vaccine, Moldova must have good relations with Western powers, which the Moldovan president is trying to do right now because the only help for the country can come from the West.
The Netherlands started their vaccination for Covid-19 in January this year alongside with other Western countries. However, not every European nation has this privilege.
“It is just talked about it! There is no vaccine at the moment! Now everyone is looking for solutions and possibilities to get maybe the Russian vaccine Sputnik if it passes the European examinations.” says Mariana Tantuc, a public servant from the south of Moldova. She added that many doctors and nurses died of Covid-19 and local hospitals lack enough staff in Moldova. Mrs Tantuc told our reporter a couple of gruesome stories of how the infected patients are taken care of in the hospitals. She talked about an infected woman with phsychological problems that was locked up in a room of the Cantemir hospital by a forgetfull nurse until she died.
The new president of Moldova Maia Sandu is busy now with establishing good relationships with Western countries by visiting them, which may contribute to getting the vaccine. Sandu said in an interview for Euronews in November of 2020 that Moldova is need of the support from the West to overcome the sanitary and economic crisis.