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Romania launches COVID-19 shots for children aged 5-11

Romanian authorities say children aged 5-11 can be vaccinated against COVID-19 from the end of January as the country struggles with a virus wave and low adult vaccination rates

BUCHAREST, Romania — Children in Romania aged 5-11 will be able to be vaccinated against COVID-19 from the end of January, authorities said, as the country struggled Friday with a virus wave and low adult vaccination rates.

Parents or legal guardians can schedule appointments starting this week to have their children vaccinated with Pfizer shots that will be available Jan. 26, the National Immunization Commission said Thursday.

Health authorities said 219 pediatric vaccination centers are configured in the national programming platform and shots can also be administered without an appointment in specialty centers and in some primary care practices. The injections are administered at 21 day intervals.

Romania, a European Union country of about 19.5 million inhabitants, has the second lowest vaccination rate against COVID-19 in the bloc of 27 countries, with only 48% of adults fully vaccinated, compared to the EU average of 80%. Many other EU countries have already launched vaccination programs for children under 12.

Despite the block commission’s help in December to help Romania launch a media campaign to boost vaccination coverage, daily use of injections has remained low at around 25,000 in the past week.

Since the start of the pandemic, Romania has confirmed nearly 1.9 million COVID-19 infections and 59,180 people have died.

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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