Bulgaria’s Health Minister: Vaccination of 15 000 residents of old-age homes being prepared

Preparations are being made for the second phase of vaccination against Covid-19 in Bulgaria, involving 15 000 residents of old-age homes and 11 000 staff and social workers, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said on January 2.

Speaking at a meeting between Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and members of the Cabinet, Angelov said that the second phase would begin after further supplies of vaccines arrive in Bulgaria.

Municipalities are responsible for compiling the lists of people in these categories who want to be vaccinated, Angelov said, according to a Bulgarian government media statement.

Bulgaria’s government repeatedly has said vaccination against Covid-19 is voluntary, recommended and free of charge.

Angelov said that the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is currently improving and there are clear results from the anti-epidemic measures.

On a 14-day basis, the rate of morbidity has dropped to 180 per 100 000 people, he said.

According to Angelov, there was a continuing trend of the number of people recovering from the virus exceeding those newly-infected.

The statement quoted Borissov as saying that if the situation continues to be closely monitored and responded to flexibly, Bulgaria will overcome the pandemic “and it will become clear that Bulgaria has succeeded in managing the crisis best”.

Bulgarian began the vaccination process on December 27. Since then, 4739 people have been vaccinated, according to the national information system. A further batch of vaccines is due to arrive on January 4-5.

In other news on January 2 regarding the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio reported that two organisations – “Science in the Crisis” and “Parents for Safe Education” – had sent an open letter to Angelov and Education Minister Krassimir Vulchev objecting to the resumption of in-person classes for first to fourth-grade pupils, and the re-opening of kindergartens, as of January 4.

The organisations said that amid the epidemic, the decision put at risk the lives and health of Bulgarians.

Claims that children are not a factor in the spread of Covid-19 and the opening of schools was not a danger could easily be refuted on the basis of world experience, the organisations said.

Vulchev issued a formal order on December 31 2020 that pupils in the fifth to 12th grades should remain on distance learning until January 31. However, a briefing earlier the same day had been told that a decision on the resumption of in-person learning for fifth to 12th-graders before January 31 would depend on the development of the Covid-19 situation in the country.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)

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