16 Dec 2021 21:03

Moldova's Court of Accounts finds violations in national Covid vaccination - report

CHISINAU. Dec 16 (Interfax) - The Court of Accounts of Moldova has detected failings in the national coronavirus vaccination process, potentially involving more than 70,000 fake vaccination certificates, the court's report revealed on Thursday.

Of the total 2 million doses received Moldova used over 1.6 million; more than 1.5 million doses (75% of the total) worth 188.4 million lei (over 9 million euros) were received as a humanitarian aid either through the COVAX platform or direct from other countries. The national vaccination rate is over 27%.

Because some vaccines contain between six and 12 doses in a vial, the health ministry's advice at the start of the campaign was to gather the needed number of people before opening a vial to ensure all doses in it are used up, the report said. However, later this requirement was ignored, leading to many lost doses.

"When vaccines have appeared in sufficient quantities, permitted losses accounted for 80%-90%. The lack of counting procedures for lost vaccines is creating an uncertainty when counting the real number of used and unused doses," the report said.

This resulted in abuses both in the vaccination and certification processes, with some 71,200 certificates of vaccination likely to be fake, the report said.

"Under vaccination documents, 7,000 doses with an expired due date were used for vaccination, leading to suspicions about their use," the report said, hinting at the possibility of falsified certificates issued for those vaccines or their use after the due date.

At the same time, 11,000 vaccines worth 1.6 million lei (80,000 euros) were discarded due to an expired date.

At the start of vaccination, priority was given to certain groups of population yet 2,579 people were vaccinated in breach of regulations approved by the Health Ministry.

The checks were carried out in the Health Ministry, the National Public Health Agency, the center for centralized public procurement in health, the Office for Foreign Aid Management, and 13 medical facilities nationwide.

The country embarked on vaccination on March 2. Since then over 1.7 million doses have been administered, with 960,828 people now fully jabbed. In total during the pandemic Moldova recorded 370,951 cases, 356,077 of which led to recovery and 9,434 to death. Current infections stand at 5,440.