In the case of the Republic of Moldova, the vaccination subject was politicized and geo-politicized. In the witnessed “vaccine diplomacy”, the vaccination subject is used by the Russian Federation and by the EU and also by national political players, namely the presidential administrator led by Maia Sandu and the Party of Socialists led Igor Dodon, Dionis Cenușa, a political scientist, researcher at the Institute of Political Sciences at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, stated in IPN’s public debate “Coexistence”, “war” or “diplomacy” of vaccines in the world? Impact on Moldova”.
According to the expert, the presidential administration is trying to use the vaccine, for example, to hasten the snap elections, while Igor Dodon wants the population to be vaccinated with Sputnik V, also from the perspective of the snap elections that are imminent and would be held in 2021, but later.
Dionis Cenușa considers the vaccination subject will be now central in the discussions on who deserves to be elected to Moldova’s future Parliament. That’s why the Russian vaccinate is expected to come later. The Russian Federation didn’t hurry to confirm by official channels the date of delivery of the vaccines as this way it allowed Igor Dodon and the PSRM to capitalize on the idea that Igor Dodon was bringing vaccines. At the request of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection, the Embassy of the Russian Federation confirmed by official channels that Moscow will send 182,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, 60,000 of which for the Transnistrian region, six days after Igor Dodon stated that he was bringing Sputnik V to Moldova.
In another development, the researcher noted that Romania, as any other EU member state, has the right to donate vaccines from the volume is receives on the European line. “Romania donated vaccines to Moldova for various reasons: common identify, common history, etc. It wasn’t only the geographical aspect, even if this also mattered”.
According to Dionis Cenușa, the impact of non-vaccination will be very serious for the Moldovan citizens as the introduction of vaccine passports is already discussed and some of the citizens could be unable to travel as easier as before the pandemic.
The expert noted that diseases similar to COVID-19 will yet appear and this is not the first pandemic. The issue is intensely discussed in the international press, including the specialized one. It’s clear that COVID-19 will not be eliminated by one vaccination stage. The efficiency of the vaccine, the length of its effect and the necessity of vaccinating the population each year are already being considered.
The public debate “Coexistence”, “war” or “diplomacy” of vaccines in the world? Impact on Moldova” is the 181st installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is implemented with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation.