On January 30, the Ministry of Health received a letter from the COVAX platform whereby it was informed that of the 78 counties that applied to be supplied with COVID vaccines, the Republic of Moldova is among the first 18 that were accepted. This is due to the fact that the country showed it is ready for vaccination and meets the imposed conditions, acting minister of health, labor and social protection Tatiana Zatyk, deputy head of the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission, stated in IPN’s public debate “COVID-19 pandemic at a crossroads: Lessons learned and lessons to be learned before the vaccination period”.
“We were told that we will receive the first doses of vaccine in the middle of February. We were assured we will be supplied with sufficient doses for covering 20% of the country’s population, including the people from the left side of the Nistru, as the made estimates covered this part of the population too. Through this platform, we will be able to purchase vaccines at a preferential price. Namely these requests were formulated by the country in 2020. Under the national immunization plan, we will have a number of vaccination stages. At the first stage, there will be vaccinated healthcare workers, primarily those who work in intensive care units and in COVID-19 units. Afterward, there will be immunized all the health workers,” stated Tatiana Zatyk.
She noted that the preparations for the vaccination process were launched in the second half of 2020, when activities to gain access to COVAX were carried out. Moldova was accepted in November 2020 and all the documents showing that the country is ready to implement the vaccination process were submitted in December. The national immunization plan was adopted later, as a result of the considerable work done by public health specialists.
Asked in what state the health system is now after almost a year of pandemic, Tatiana Zatyk responded that this became stronger and safer following the accumulation of experience and the consolidation of the medical guild. “Evidently, particular challenges that existed before the pandemic remained. The system faces chronic problems that led to particular difficulties in activity. However, a lot of work was done the past few years, primarily with the assistance of the international partners. Work was done on all the components of the health system, but the pandemic found it unprepared,” stated the official, noting Moldova ultimately managed to secure everything its needs following the hard work done in this regard.
According to Tatiana Zatyk, Moldova has a good health system that can cope with the challenges and that implemented successfully five mandatory immunization programs. However, the COVID-19 immunizing plan is different as all the state bodies need to become involved. “The teams were formed. It is important to follow the plan and to ensure the proper organization of the process, with the direct involvement of all the health specialists who know the area very well so that we succeed. The population’s support is also very important,” she said, noting they are hopeful the objective to vaccinate 70% of the population will be achieved.
The public debate “COVID-19 pandemic at a crossroads: Lessons learned and lessons to be learned before the vaccination period” is the 170th installment of the series of debates “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.