The leader of the main governing party, the National Liberal Party, Mr. Ludovic Orban, stated that Romania could charge for COVID-19 vaccines. In his opinion, the vaccination for the new coronavirus should follow the vaccination model for influenza.
The Romanian state already bears the costs with the vaccination. It is an exceptional situation, but here I can say that we do this for a period of time, until we get to a certain level of herd immunity, but later on we’ll adopt a mechanism where only the vulnerable categories will take the free vaccine, exactly as it happens with influenza, the rest of them would be supposed to take the vaccine because it is their obligation.PNL party leader, Ludovic Orban
This scenario was immediately dismissed by the Prime Minister, Mr. Florin Citu.
We have to bring the vaccine closer to the citizens. We have good results if we look at the urban areas, but if we look at the rural areas, the results are not good. In these cases, we have to offer solutions to bring the vaccine closer to the people. (…) In Romania, the COVID-19 vaccine is free and will remain free. There is no discussion on this subject.Florin Citu replying to his party leader on vaccine gratuity in Romania
The political dispute between the two leaders is not new. It started the moment when the current PM, who replaced the party leader as head of Government after the coalition negotiations, decided it would be a good opportunity to run for the presidency of the National Liberal Party. The future congress is to take place in the autumn of this year, ahead of a possible fourth wave of the pandemic.
On the other hand, the announcement of the introduction of costs for the vaccine could speed up the vaccination campaign to a certain level, as people could try and take advantage of the vaccine as far as it is (still) free.
So far, the vaccination campaign in Romania went well and the authorities have the goal of vaccinating 5 million people until June. So far, 4.1 million Romanians have taken at least one dose.