Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov has told health officials that “green corridors” must be set up for all those wanting to be vaccinated against Covid-19, a government media statement said on February 19.
Borissov was speaking at a meeting with Health Minister Kostadin Angelov, representatives of the national operational headquarters against Covid-19, and the national vaccination HQ.
Earlier on February 19, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television reported that from today until the end of the week, everyone who falls into the first four phases of the national vaccination plan may be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine at Pirogov emergency hospital in Sofia.
Arrangements had been made to vaccinate people aged 65 and over, as well as people with concomitant chronic diseases, the report said.
A long queue of people wanting to be vaccinated formed early in the morning, BNT said.
The government media statement quoted Borissov as saying that in the first place, it was very important that every doctor who wants to be vaccinated gets the jab.
At the same time, once arrangements have been made for immunisation of those in the second and third phases, it must be possible for everyone else who is waiting to be vaccinated.
“Go to the regions of the country to observe the process in person and open green corridors for those who want to be vaccinated. Thus, the percentage of vaccinated will increase a lot, we will have an even bigger shield against the pandemic and there will be no need for additional closures or restrictions, as there are in other countries,” Borissov said.
Angelov told the meeting that as of February 18, a total of 25 441 people had received a second dose of vaccine and 90 514 had received a first dose.
Medicines Agency head Bogdan Kirilov said that at the close of the day on February 19, a delivery of 57 600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine was expected, and arrangements had been made to distribute these vaccines to all 28 regional health inspectorates in Bulgaria on Saturday morning.
“Next week we expect a further 180 000 doses of the three vaccines approved for use,” Kirilov said.
He said that it was understood from the manufacturers and the European Commission that in March, Bulgaria would receive at least 500 000 doses, which made it possible for the fourth phase of the national vaccination plan to begin.
Kirilov said that the European Medicines Agency had started the final stage of the evaluation of the documentation of the fourth expected vaccine, Johnson & Johnson.
Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev told the meeting that the rate of mortality in the country was declining.
“This shows that fears that the UK variant of the virus will be more severe are not justified for now,” Kunchev said.
“We can expect a slight increase in morbidity in the circulation of this new variant, but if it is at this pace, it does not pose a threat to the health system,” he said.
National operational HQ head Major-General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski also noted the country’s declining rate of mortality, the statement said.
Mutafchiyski said that this was the result both of the accummulated experience of the medical teams in the treatment of Covid-19 and of the reduced pressure on Bulgaria’s health care facilities.
“It is possible for all patients who are admitted, even in a serious condition, to receive adequate care. That is the important thing,” he said.
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