“And the number drawn is 083577! This week’s winner of the 100,000 lei grand prize, ”the Romanian Lottery presenter announced on Sunday evening. To participate in this competition, only one key: vaccination.
Since the first weekend of October, and every Sunday until the end of the year, Romania organizes vaccine lotteries to deal with the low rate of vaccinees. Nearly two-thirds of the population has not claimed their dose when vaccines are not lacking and everyone could have access to them as of March.
“The main reason is the fear of adverse reactions to the vaccine, fueled by anti-vaccine messages and increased mistrust of the authorities”, underlines Gindrovel Dumitra, doctor in rural areas and president of the vaccinology group within the National Society. of Family Medicine.
Lack of prevention
As a last resort, the Ministry of Health adopted a new strategy by organizing a vaccine lottery, in addition to meal vouchers given to newly vaccinated people. The winnings are tempting, with 80 prizes worth 2,000 euros each week and one prize of 20,000 euros. On December 31, a participant will win the grand prize of one million lei, or 200,000 euros. A colossal sum in a country where the minimum wage is equivalent to 470 euros gross. In total, more than three million euros are committed. “It’s a mistake,” Gindrovel Dumitra continues. These funds from the Ministry of Health should be spent on a communication team and a real prevention campaign. People need to understand the individual and collective health benefits of the vaccine, not that the benefit is financial. “
Over the past seven days, and apart from the Caribbean islands heavily affected by the virus, Romania has had the most deaths compared to the number of inhabitants in the world. This Tuesday, 442 deaths were recorded in 24 hours, including 397 unvaccinated people, a record since the start of the pandemic. Intensive care is saturated and the country is, for the first time, appealing for help from the EU to send patients abroad.
Despite the baits put in place, the pace of vaccination does not accelerate, except for those convinced who already have access to the third dose. Confidence in the authorities is deteriorating; especially since the Liberal government fell on October 5, after a motion of censure by the opposition. According to political analysts, there is only one big winner in this political crisis: the nationalist party AUR, anti-vaccination and anti-restrictions.