4 May 2021 17:07

Moldova starts inoculating people with Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine - Health Ministry

CHISINAU. May 4 (Interfax) - Moldova started inoculating citizens against the novel coronavirus infection with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine on Tuesday, Igor Curov, state secretary of the Moldovan Health, Labor, and Social Protection Ministry, told Interfax.

"On Friday evening, 71,000 doses of the second component of the Russian vaccine were delivered, and 31,000 of these doses were immediately shipped to the Transdniestrian region. The rest of the vaccine doses have been distributed around the republic, and they started being used at vaccination centers on Tuesday," Curov said.

The first components of the vaccine delivered to Moldova on April 24 have been distributed among vaccination centers around the country, he said.

"Vaccination did not begin before the Health Ministry received the second component of the vaccine," Curov said.

Transdniestria has received 62,000 of the 182,000 doses of the vaccine Russia promised to Moldova as humanitarian aid.

Moldovan parliamentary Chairperson Zinaida Greceanii said at a ceremony of receiving the humanitarian cargo with Sputnik V doses on Friday that another 40,000 doses of Sputnik V, including 20,000 doses of the first component and 20,000 of the second, would be delivered to Moldova later.

Former President Igor Dodon said, "Moldova is preparing to buy another 700,000 doses of the Russian vaccine, as it's the vaccine that most of our citizens wish to be vaccinated with."

Prime Minister Aureliu Ciocoi said Moldova plans to buy 500,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines from three or four different manufacturers, so that the people have a choice.

Moldova has received over 600,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines to date. In addition to Sputnik V, this number includes 266,400 doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine (204,000 as humanitarian aid from Romania and 62,400 doses via the COVAX platform), 24,500 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine via the COVAX platform, and 2,000 doses of China's Sinopharm vaccine as aid from the United Arab Emirates.

The coronavirus vaccination campaign started in Moldova on March 2. Nearly 150,000 people have received at least one shot, including some 20,000 people who have received two shots.

Moldova has recorded 251,378 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic; 241,216 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 have recovered and 5,850 have died.