While it is undeniable that vaccinating as many people as possible is the most effective measure in the fight against COVID-19, it would be equally good if the public were treated with accurate figures rather than arbitrary calculations by individuals. Likewise, in an organized state, at least the Minister of Health could be expected to present correct information and not present unverified facts to the public, reports Glas Istre.
This is exactly what Minister of Health Vili Beroš did a few days ago when he stated at a press conference that Rovinj is the Croatian record holder in vaccinations and that 80 percent of the city’s population has been vaccinated so far. Beroš reiterated the information that appeared on some portals, which was created by a wrong calculation of the figure released to the public at the end of June by the Office of the Mayor of Rovinj, Marko Paliaga.
That release states the following:
“While in most other parts of Croatia, there has been a decline in citizens’ response to vaccinations, the situation in the City of Rovinj is more than satisfactory. According to the Rovinj Branch of the Istrian Health Centers, from 11 February 2021 to 24 June 2021, 11,414 citizens were vaccinated at the Rovinj Branch, of which 2,056 at the Health Center and 9,358 at the Valbruna Hall. We also learn from the head of the Branch Office, Dr. Corinne Pellizzer Lanča, that 6,853 received the first dose, while a total of 4,561 people were vaccinated with both doses.”
According to the last census, Rovinj has about 14,500 inhabitants, and 11,414 citizens correspond to 80 percent of those vaccinated. However, Mayor Marko Paliaga himself told Glas Istre that he did not know where Minister Beroš got this number because they did not communicate 80 percent vaccinated. Paliaga also confirmed that 11,414 citizens include residents of surrounding municipalities such as Bale and Kanfanar that were vaccinated in Rovinj. Also, it is clear from these figures that so far, only about 4,500 people have been vaccinated with two doses, which is about a third of Rovinj’s population. Still, even here, it should be considered that some of those vaccinated are probably from the surrounding municipalities. It is also unknown whether the 6,853 people who received the first dose and 4,561 the second dose are counted or are only people who received only one dose and will be vaccinated with the second dose in the next few months. In that case, the number could indeed reach 11,414 vaccinated citizens, but again, even that number will not include only Rovinj residents.
Regardless of this misinterpretation of figures, it remains an indisputable fact that Rovinj is very successful when it comes to the vaccinated population and that the citizens of this city are aware of how much vaccination means for a successful tourist season in Rovinj, which is the most visited city on the Croatian coast. The only pity is that people at the top of the government who spread unverified figures do not have the same responsibility, thus distrusting those citizens who have not yet been vaccinated.
Dr. Jasna Valić from the Istrian Teaching Institute for Public Health told Glas Istre that they do not have accurate data for Rovinj because they are under the jurisdiction of the local branch of the Istrian Health Centers, but confirmed that 48 percent of the total population in Istria was vaccinated with just one dose. In comparison, 37 percent of the total population received two doses or 31 percent of the adult population. Jasna Valić emphasized that it is easily possible that there was confusion about vaccinations because they are dealing with a lot of different numbers.
“It is not surprising that there was a misunderstanding because there are too many numbers in the game. First, you have to count on those who have gotten over Covid. Then some of them have already been vaccinated, so you have those vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson for whom one dose is enough and then those who are vaccinated with two doses. However, I think it is clear to everyone that the only thing that matters is that we are vaccinated as much as possible because that is the only way to return to normal life,” said Dr. Jasna Valić. In contrast, Rovinj Mayor Marko Paliaga says that he is still delighted with the vaccination process in Rovinj despite this misunderstanding.
“The men and women of Rovinj have once again shown a great degree of responsibility and care for the protection of their health and the health of others. This is also one of the key reasons Istria records a far better epidemiological situation than the rest of Croatia. Vaccination is currently the only way out of this situation and the only way we can stop the spread of the virus. I would like to remind you that in some countries with a high vaccination rate, almost all restrictions, including the obligation to wear masks, have been lifted. Therefore, I hope that we will soon achieve mass immunity that will allow us to repeal all or most of the measures that are currently still in force,” said Paliaga.
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