Moldova has extensive access to COVID-19 vaccines and benefits from support to expand their coverage

August 2, 2021

In Moldova, according to new data released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the University of Oxford, there are six types of COVID-19 vaccines available. This represents a full portfolio, with an increased access of the general population to WHO and European Medicine Agency approved vaccines.

In the Republic of Moldova, according to the official data of the National Agency for Public Health as of 30 July 2021, more than 1 million doses of vaccine against COVID-19 were administered. In total, 588,000 people were vaccinated with the first dose and 469,986 people are fully vaccinated. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection declared that the vaccination coverage for the entire population with the first dose is 17.2% and for fully vaccinated – 13.8%.

Overall, until 30 July, 1,348,710 doses of vaccine against COVID-19 were received by the health authorities. Additionally, 700,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine were procured by the Government and will be delivered shortly.

According to the Oxford Stringency Index, a composite measure based on nine response indicators including school and workplace closures, and travel bans, Moldova has an indicator of 56 out of 100, meaning that the response of Government has varied over all indicators, being slightly above middle. The measures that restrict people’s behavior in Moldova are decided by the Extraordinary Commission of Public Health.

The total cost of vaccination as a percent of GDP represents 1.2%, which is an important cost for the public budget, which is in deficit of about 14 billion MDL, a deficit influenced by the economic downturn and the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 onto the Moldovan economy.

The Republic of Moldova is an eligible COVAX facility country, which benefits free of charge from doses of vaccines against COVID-19 for 20% of its population, which means that the country has an increased support. A significant part of the additionally needed doses is on government procurement, to reach at least 80% vaccination coverage of the adult population. The Government of Republic of Moldova has secured enough founds for the procurement of the needed doses to protect the general population, to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Globally, COVID-19 vaccine inequity will have a lasting and profound impact on socio-economic recovery in low- and lower-middle income countries without urgent action to boost supply and assure equitable access for every country, including through dose sharing.

An acceleration in scaling up manufacturing and sharing enough vaccine doses with low-income countries could have added $38 billion to their GDP forecast for 2021 if they had similar vaccination rates as high-income countries. At a time when richer countries have paid trillions in stimulus to prop up flagging economies, now is the moment to ensure vaccine doses are shared quickly, all barriers to increasing vaccine manufacturing are removed and financing support are secured so vaccines are distributed equitably, and a truly global economic recovery can take place.

These insights come from the Global Dashboard for COVID-19 Vaccine Equity, a joint initiative from UNDP, WHO and the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, which combines the latest information on COVID-19 vaccination with the most recent socio-economic data to illustrate why accelerating vaccine equity is not only critical to saving lives but also to driving a faster and fairer recovery from the pandemic with benefits for all.

“It’s time for swift, collective action. This new Vaccine Equity Dashboard will provide policymakers and international organisations with unique insights to accelerate the global delivery of vaccines and mitigate the devastating socio-economic impacts of the pandemic,” said UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner.

According to the new dashboard, which builds on data from multiple entities including IMF, World Bank, UNICEF and Gavi, and analysis on per capita GDP growth rates from the World Economic Outlook, richer countries are projected to vaccinate quicker and recover economically quicker from COVID-19, while poorer countries haven’t even been able to vaccinate their health workers and most at-risk population and may not achieve pre-COVID-19 levels of growth until 2024. Meanwhile, Delta and other variants are driving some countries to reinstate strict public health social measures. This is further worsening the social, economic and health impact, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized people. Vaccine inequity threatens all countries and risks reversing hard won progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. 

“Vaccine inequity is the world’s biggest obstacle to ending this pandemic and recovering from COVID-19,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Economically, epidemiologically and morally, it is in all countries' best interest to use the latest available data to make lifesaving vaccines available to all.”

Designed to empower policy makers and development partners to take urgent action to reduce vaccine inequity, the Global Dashboard breaks down the impact of accessibility and affordability against a target for countries to vaccinate their at-risk populations first to reduce mortality and protect the health system and then move on to vaccinating larger shares of the population to reduce disease burden and re-open socio-economic activity.

The dashboard will be updated in real-time as new data becomes available, filling a critical gap to help guide the international community's understanding of what can be done to achieve vaccine equity.