Vaccination Priority for Officials and Their Relatives

Vaccination Priority for Officials and Their Relatives
by
05 April 2021 | 11:48

Mayors, district or local counselors, deputies, and various other officials, together with family members, got vaccinated even if they are not in the category eligible for vaccination. 

District councilor Sergiu Rența admitted that he lied about his vaccination

One of the most ridiculous cases of preferential vaccination in Moldova concerns Sergiu Rența, 37, from Cahul, a district counselor from Renato Usatîi’s Our Party. On March 26, Sergiu Rența wrote on his Facebook page that he got vaccinated against COVID-19, showing the vaccination certificate. The document was written in Romanian, English, and … Russian. Asked, shortly after, where he got vaccinated, Rența told TV8 journalists that, being a Romanian citizen, he was vaccinated “in Romania. Here, in Galați, people write in Russian as well “, stated the counselor, who, however, soon deleted the Facebook post.

The data in the vaccination certificate showed that Rența had been vaccinated on March 26 with the vaccine produced by Pfizer. The fact that the certificate was in Russian, and that the waiting list for a vaccination with Pfizer in Romania is long, how that Rența lied that he vaccinated in Romania. Thus, on March 30, after it became obvious that Rența faked the regulations and was vaccinated in Moldova, he admitted. “I publicly acknowledge, as every person makes mistakes, I admit.” The politician claims that he got vaccinated at the invitation of his family doctor, “without asking for privileges“. 

The way the Ministry sets the vaccination order 

The Ministry of Health sets the National Anti-COVID-19 Immunization Plan and the order for vaccination. According to that order, at the first stage of vaccination, only those related to the medical system are vaccinated, followed by social workers and people from rehabilitation and recovery institutions.

Sergiu Rența could not have been vaccinated at the first stage of vaccination, and at the second stage too, in which people older than 60 years with comorbidities are a priority, followed by people with comorbidities for whom COVID-19 infection is an increased risk. The public system employees, including district, local counselors, mayors, and deputies, will be vaccinated only after these stages. 

Sergiu Rența’s story is not the single one. Ala Nemerenco, President Maia Sandu’s health adviser, recently announced that she would know of “concrete cases of how local counselors have been vaccinated together with their mothers and fathers-in-law, mayors, various heads – of restaurants, banks or shops … And the doctors sit and wait their turn. This country has become more populated by monsters than by people…”, stated the counselor. 

Several politicians have been talking about the recent debauchery in the vaccination process. Renato Usatîi, the leader of Our Party, said he would have information about several priority vaccinations. “Instead of doctors being vaccinated, Pfizer vaccines were administered to district presidents, vice presidents, mayors, and even to a restaurant team. Among the vaccinated people are several public figures, businessmen with a lot of money. Some of them appeared on the cover of some glamorous magazines. In the morning they appear on the cover of such a magazine, and in the evening he works as a fictitious guard at a medical institution. That’s how they managed to get vaccinated, as medical workers. There are some bloggers with tens of thousands of followers among those who got vaccinated“, says Usatîi.

The debauchery from Edineț District: “It would be good to have control in all the districts, to see what will come out”

A few days ago, Ștefan Gligor, the leader of the new Party of Change, claimed that he received a message from a person from Edineț District who told him that the district counselors and other socialist officials had been vaccinated with Pfizer. Subsequently, the prosecutors started investigations that showed illegal vaccination, and some officials were suspended. It was not proven that only the socialist district counselors were vaccinated. Nicolae Melnic, the chair of the Edineț District Council, confirmed for ZdG that there are other names too. “The list includes the name of a counselor, the names of mayors, entrepreneurs, but also other people, such as relatives of doctors. There are violations. I have already appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office and the police. They will pick up the documents to see the full list of people. It would be good to check in all districts, to see what will come out “, Nicolae Melnic told us.

The mayor of Edineț District, Constantin Cojocaru, is among those illegally vaccinated who confirmed this fact for ZdG. “I got vaccinated a week ago. They called me from the hospital and told me that there were a few more doses with which there was no one to get vaccinated and I went and got vaccinated. At the District Hospital, they told me that the deadline expires at an open dose and if I want, I could get vaccinated“, the mayor of Edineț told us. Later, the Socialist deputy Vladimir Odnostalco said he got vaccinated in the same way. The vice-chair of Sângerei district and president of the exceptional Commission in public health of Sângerei district, Vasile Tutunaru, got illegally vaccinated too. After the information was made public by a counselor, Tutunaru admitted it. 

The employees of Cantemir City Hall, as well as the deputy Leucă were vaccinated

On March 23, 2021, the employees of Cantemir City Hall, led by the mayor, were also vaccinated. The announcement was made by officials on a social network, stating that “the Cantemir City Hall team was vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine administered is Pfizer.” Although they have nothing to do with the medical system, Cantemir City Hall employees justified their vaccination saying that they were invited by representatives of the Public Health Center in the Cantemir District. Olga Hâțu, head of the Public Health Centre, argued for ZdG that the vaccination of Cantemir City Hall employees is under the provisions established by the Ministry of Health. However, she did not say why people with comorbidities were not vaccinated before City Hall employees as provided by the specified order. 

I previously received 330 doses of AstraZeneca. Medical workers were immunized. The number of medical workers who wanted to be vaccinated when I received the doses of Pfizer was almost exhausted. It has some very limited storage rules and we cannot ensure such storage conditions. The vaccine had a limited shelf life of 3-4 days. In this way, exhausting the category of doctors, another stage was resorted to. The vaccine was also administered to the employees of the public order security structures, some social workers, employees of the National Agency for Food Safety, teachers. We did this in order not to lose the very limited vaccine doses“, says Olga Hâțu.

The information that the deputy of the Democratic Party Ion Leucă got vaccinated as a priority became public as well. Deputy Leucă is 54 years old and he publicly stated that he got vaccinated with Pfizer. Asked by ZdG, the democrat deputy said that he got vaccinated at the initiative of the family doctor, “because of some comorbidities“. “In the fall of 2019 and the summer of 2020, I had two fairly severe cases of pneumonia, I also have diabetes since 2010… I was on the list of people of high COVID-19 risk due to comorbidities. It was not my initiative to get vaccinated“, said Leucă for ZdG. The deputy claims that he was vaccinated with Pfizer, “with a dose that could be lost“.

The list of vaccinated persons cannot be made public, as there is no such data

Following the information on preferential vaccination cases, the Ministry of Health announced that it had launched an investigation to determine whether or not there had been any violations of the immunization process, including by checking the lists of vaccinated persons in the medical institutions concerned. The Ministry of Health also stated that it had set up an Evaluation Commission, responsible for examining cases of vaccine use, according to the vaccination stages included in the National Immunization Plan.

ZdG requested from the National Agency of Public Health the list of persons vaccinated so far, including the professions of those vaccinated. “We do not have data by profession. The data (on the electronic platform) are included by identity card code and the name and surname. The lists can be found at each vaccination center in the electronic register,” said the epidemiologist Alexei Ceban, coordinator of the communication group on immunization against COVID-19. 

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