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Italy-Romania: exchange of views on the vaccination campaign

The Italian Ambassador to Bucharest, Alfredo Durante Mangoni, presided today at a videoconference between the Extraordinary Commissioner for the Covid-19 Emergency for the Italian government, Gen. C.A. Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, and the Coordinator of the Romanian Vaccination Campaign, Col. Valeriu Gheorghiță, assisted by their respective staffs.

The exchange of views made it possible, among other things, to explore in depth the organization model of the Italian vaccination campaign, the main difficulties encountered and the outlook for the future. The communication structures created to support the campaign were also discussed, emphasizing their importance to counter disinformation and encourage widespread acceptance by the population.

Gen. Figliuolo, commenting on the success of the national efforts, indicated that in Italy over 85% of the population over 12 have received at least one dose and over 80% have completed the vaccination cycle. The Extraordinary Commissioner stressed the need for the vaccination plan to enjoy the full support of all the institutions, both central and local, as well as the different expressions of society. He spoke of the importance of centralizing the decisional and control processes in the structure of the commission, while decentralizing that of implementation of the plan, with particular attention to the dialogue with local intermediaries (municipal administrations, religious leaders, associations, NGOs), especially in the rural and peripheral areas. Focusing on public communication, Gen. Figliuolo and his staff suggested implementing activities to combat disinformation through the quantification of the benefits of the vaccination campaign, highlighting its value as the only tool as our disposal to reduce hospitalizations and deaths and to make possible any stable relaunching of the economy. The Italian military officers therefore recommended to the Romanian colleagues to engage in activities tending to increase awareness through the involvement of well-known celebrities and daily updates on the results of the vaccinations in other EU countries, in terms of recovery of public spaces and social activities.

Col. Gheorghiță described the evolution of the vaccination campaign in Romania which, after a promising start, experienced a slowdown beginning last summer, also because of the general perception of improvement of the situation, and the consequent gradual easing of restrictions, in addition to the spread of positions contrary to vaccination, at times encouraged by public personalities in different sectors.

The officer in charge of the vaccination campaign in Romania thanked his Italian colleagues for the meeting and the two teams agreed to stay in touch, and also to share working documents.

The Italian Ambassador to Bucharest will continue to facilitate the highest degree of coordination between the Italian commission and its Romanian counterpart. Exchanges between Italy and Romania are intense, also due to the size of the Romanian community in Italy (it is the largest foreign community in Italy) and the numerous Italian enterprises with plants based in Romania. It is in the interests of both countries, and of the entire EU, that the vaccination campaign in Romania regain its original positive thrust and achieve the progress everyone so greatly hopes to see.

In the sphere of this cooperation, the Italian Civil Protection Service has donated 5,200 vials of monoclonal antibodies to Romania for the treatment of Covid patients and the mitigation of the health emergency in that country.

The shipment of medicines, which left from Milan’s Malpensa Airport, reached Bucharest on October 12. The Italian Ambassador, Alfredo Durante Mangoni, and the Romanian Health Minister, Attila Cseke, were at Otopeni Airport to receive it.