COVID-19: Romanians encouraged to vaccinate

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The vaccine against the Omicron subvariants of coronavirus is freely available in Romania, with the list of health centres offering the new shots published on Thursday on the website of the Romanian Ministry of Health.
Koronavírus oltás

According to their statement, anyone over 12 years of age who has received the first two (three) doses of the vaccine at least three months ago can receive the new vaccine, which offers increased protection against the original strain of the virus and the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron, which caused this year's pandemic waves, at the designated vaccination centres without a reservation. However, the ministry recommends the new immunity-boosting vaccine to people with chronic diseases and people over 65 years of age.

The list available on the website includes only 67 addresses, with a maximum of two or three hospitals per county. There are also some counties (such as Covasna) where no health facilities offer the new vaccine without an appointment. However, according to the ministry, the vaccine will be delivered to any family practice with a valid contract with the National Health Insurance Fund, on the basis of a prior request.

In Romania, the epidemic curve started to climb again in early December after the summer wave of outbreaks of the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron-variants had subsided. Last week, 2,924 new infections were recorded, more than one and a half times the number a week earlier, and the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals rose by almost 20% to 748 in a week. (See the relevant charts below.)

Although the ministry now only publishes weekly summaries, Health Minister Alexandru Rafila told a press briefing on Wednesday that the number of daily infections had now risen to 700 (from an average of 400 last week). He added that a similar trend was being observed in other European countries and that there was no cause for concern as long as the pressure on the health care system did not increase significantly.

Here are Hungary's key Covid data for the seven days up to 13 December.

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The following chart shows the daily average number of Covid deaths as a percentage of Covid patients in hospital and on ventilator. There is a downward trend in the former and a slight upward trend in the latter. 

The CFR/OCC ratio, which may be one of the best (simple) indicators as to where the pandemic is headed shows an upward trend, although the latest weekly reading indicates moderation. CFR = [deaths / confirmed cases], OCC = [deaths / (deaths + recoveries)].

As regards the vaccination rates, here are the key numbers for Hungary at the moment, although these should be taken with a pinch of salt. The shots do offer good protection from severe illness and death, but their power to shield you from contracting the virus depends greatly on the type of vaccine - messenger RNA (mRNA), vector, protein subunit vaccine - the recipient's immune system (age, weight, underlying diseases, etc.), the time that elapsed since the last jab was administered, and obviously the number of shots received. 

A total of 6,474 COVID-19 shots have been administered in Hungary over the seven days up to 13 December, down 6% from 6,895 a week ago, which follows a 13% w/w rise.

The daily average fell to 925 doses from 985 a week ago.

Cover photo: Getty Images

 

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