Romanian Government

Tuesday, 22 June

Prime Minister Florin Cîțu’s participation alongside the Minister of Education Sorin Cîmpeanu in a meeting on the topic of the benefits of vaccinating children

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Florin Cîțu: Good afternoon. Thanks for your attendance. We will discuss today the minors’ vaccination. First of all, I would like us to debate the benefits of vaccination, to understand the reasons behind the pupils or their parents’ reluctance in this regard, especially as there are representatives of pupils and parents here, of the 12-15 age group. To me, things are very clear, and I would like to be very clear: I support vaccination for the population, we need as many vaccinated people as possible, but when we talk about young people under 18, here, the parents and guardians are the ones who make the decisions and they have to make the best decisions. From the data we have so far, there are 98,134 minors between the ages of 12 and 17 who have been vaccinated, and according to a report on the students' desire to get vaccinated, 45.5 percent of students consider it very important and important to get vaccinated. I say we have a good start as regards the youth, now I would dare to say better than in adults, in many ways, in terms of the desire to get vaccinated. We are thus glad that the information has reached young people.

According to data obtained so far, as many as 98,134 minors aged between 12 and 17 have been immunized against COVID-19, specifying that parents and guardians are those who make the decision in this regard,

If the eligible population gets vaccinated we shouldn't talk about a fourth wave and I know there's currently a lot of discussion in the public space about the fourth wave. I repeat: we have no reason to have a strong fourth wave in Romania. We may have the fourth wave because the flu comes each year, thus it may happen here as well, but we shouldn't have a significant fourth wave, with significant effects, because we have the vaccine in Romania and if we get vaccinated, we won't have this fourth wave. The World Health Organization has already announced that the Delta Delta variant of Covid-19 is spreading very fast, thus, this is a risk that we all know. It is, for the moment, the most aggressive [strain] and the unvaccinated persons are most vulnerable, that's where the vulnerability is, and, of course, the communities where the vaccination rate is small. So, if we get vaccinated in as large numbers as possible, we shouldn't have a problematic fourth wave, the solution is simple from my point of view. At the same time, I believe and the specialists are saying the same thing, and Mr Gheorghita will confirm us, in his remarks.

If you choose to get vaccinated now as the Government’s campaign says, in cooperation with UNICEF, they will support us in the vaccination of children. You get vaccinated for yourself and for your family's safety. I said this each time: this vaccination campaign is not about me, nor about Mr Gheorghita, nor about Minister Cimpeanu or other members of the Government, nor about State Secretary Baciu, it's about all of us, about the safety of the family, about a healthy society. Thus, we do this for all of us, to return to normality. We get vaccinated to protect ourselves and our parents and children, the most vulnerable in the family. I would like us to take a look at what happened in Romania, as of May 15. The fact that we got vaccinated, allowed us to increasingly relax conditions even more, and to have even more relaxation measures.

A very big requirement was to reopen in rural areas fairs, flea markets, animal fairs and we will be able to do this from July 1, precisely because the world is vaccinated and in areas where we have a high vaccination rate we will be able to open and keep them open. I'm not talking about concerts and so on. As for us, the government, we took the vaccine almost everywhere.

The Government has taken the vaccine to nearly the entire country. We now have caravans taking the vaccine to rural areas, we had vaccination marathons, in airports we have vaccination centres, in train stations, at the border, I understand, I saw a few vaccination centres in lavender fields, we will have them at the entry to the beach. Thus, we took it everywhere, we made this effort to have the vaccine everywhere, close to citizens, just so they get vaccinated. I repeat it's important to get vaccinated so we can be rid of this pandemic.

The declining number of positive cases confirms the success of this vaccination campaign. The number of ICU patients declined. Thus, through vaccination, did we manage to reduce the effects of this pandemic, and I would like to conclude by the same message we started with, as we are speaking about minors, the decision belongs to parents and guardians, but it should be an informed decision, and this is why I would like to have this discussion, to see if there is reluctance, and how we can address it. This is a message that epidemiologists also convey, the entire family should get vaccinated so that we overcome this pandemic. Thank you.