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May 30, 2023

Here in Europe’s poorest country we have no vaccine to argue over

Nobody in Moldova has received a Covid jab yet – and our neglected healthcare system is unable to cope

“I am happy to work on the frontline and to see the Canadian medical system function so well,” Alecu Mătrăgună wrote in a Facebook post, “but I am sad that I was vaccinated before my mother, who works in the medical system in Moldova.” Mătrăgună is a Moldovan sonographer living in Montreal. His mother is 61 and a paediatrician with more than 30 years’ service under her belt. Yet, he told me, she has no idea when the Covid-19 vaccine might become available for her and for more than 53,300 other healthcare staff in Europe’s poorest country.

I had a similar reaction to Mătrăgună’s about my family in Moldova when I saw a sign at my local London pharmacy as long ago as early December, announcing that the vaccine was on its way. At the time, my grandmother had just recovered and my father was still battling with the effects of the virus.

Paula Erizanu is a Moldovan writer based in London

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