Ala Tocarciuc: Political processes negatively influenced vaccination rate

“If all the political forces in the Republic of Moldova, which used the pandemic for electoral purposes, mobilize to persuade the population to get vaccinated so as to increase the vaccination rate, a result can be achieved,” international public health expert Ala Tocarciuc, expert stated in IPN’s public debate “Pandemic as a divergent factor for Moldovan society”. She noted that global data show that the number of COVID-19 cases in many countries started to decline. The number of people in hospitals and of deaths also decreased, primarily in the countries with a high vaccination rate.

“The Republic of Moldova is in the group of countries with a vaccination rate lower than 30%. In Moldova, the number of cases of infection, hospital admissions and deaths increases as the indicators in the vaccinated population sections and in the unvaccinated population sections differ. The disease exists. It didn’t leave any of the countries on earth, but there are internal factors that determine the situation in each country,” stated Ala Tocarciuc.

She said Portugal, for example, vaccinated 98% of the population and the numbers of infections and hospital admissions in this country are very low. Many of the countries with a vaccination rate of over 60-70% also experience the fourth wave, but this wave for them is of low intensity and with a low number of infections and hospital admissions.

“The situation in our country is the opposite as not many people got vaccinated, but this situation is influenced not only by epidemiological or medical factors. “At regional level, in Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Ukraine, there were particular political processes and it was already proven that the factors that influence the vaccination level included political (electoral processes), ideological and demographic factors - the young population needs particular reasons, while the older population needs other reasons to get vaccinated.”

“No vaccine is ideal. It will not prevent infection, but will enable us to avoid severe forms of the disease,” said the expert. According to her, the virus remains a danger to any person, to families and the community. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we didn’t have any weapons to protect ourselves against this virus except for hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing. The vaccine appeared later and it helps us to avoid serve forms and intensive care. Vaccination together with the other measures can help us keep the pandemic under control. If 5% of the population believe in science, while 95% in something else, we must bring something else to tell them that a mask should be worn”.

“Regardless of the number of divergences in society, a number of synergies can always be found. We failed to identify synergies based on which we could unite society and reach collective immunity so as to keep the pandemics under control and learn to coexist with this coronavirus. We have to do our homework here. If we want to go to work, our children to go to school, the health system to be able to offer assistance in the case of the other diseases, not only of COVID-19, we should realize this. The synergies existing here can be used. Regardless of the ideological, religious preferences, of age, we must focus on synergies so as to identity the common interests of the people,” noted the expert.

The public debate titled “Pandemic as a divergent factor for Moldovan society” was staged by IPN News Agency in the framework of the Developing Political Culture through Public Debates Project that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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