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Romanian PM defends EU Commission against vaccine critics

Christian Fernsby |
Romanian Prime Minister Florin Cîțu on Thursday pushed back against criticism of the EU’s collective vaccine procurement strategy, arguing that it has significantly benefited the bloc’s smaller countries.

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Topics: ROMANIA   

In a video interview Thursday, Cîțu argued such setbacks seem minor in Romania, compared to how the bloc's less-wealthy and less-populous countries would have fared if they were left to source their own vaccines.

“The solution to have one European contract is the best one,” he said. “If each state had its own bilateral contract with the producer, it would have been chaos — a highest-bidder situation.”

In Romania, Cîțu said, the four million vaccine doses scheduled to arrive by March will lead to “a significantly increased pace” of inoculation. The increase in supply will put the country on track to vaccinate 10 million people by the summer, out of a population of 19 million.

“We have to be honest and admit nobody expected a vaccine less than a year after the outbreak of the pandemic in the EU,” he said. “There are always difficulties.”

More broadly, Cîțu said the EU should consider ways to encourage growth in its pharmceutical sector, to avoid reliance on companies outside the bloc — an issue that may have contributed to the delays.

Romania is among the top EU performers in administering jabs, outpacing wealthier countries with better-resourced health services.