Bulgarian PM: ‘Green corridors’ for Covid-19 jabs for as long as people want them

There will be “green corridors” for as long as there are people wanting to be vaccinated against Covid-19, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on February 22.

The “green corridor” system implemented in Bulgaria this past weekend enables people to be vaccinated against Covid-19, irrespective of which category they are in in terms of the national vaccination plan adopted in December.

In the past three days, about 30 000 doses of vaccines against Covid-19 have been administered in Bulgaria, according to official figures.

“We have ordered 18 million doses of the best vaccines, and immunisation is free and voluntary everywhere,” Borissov said.

“Today alone, we have distributed 88 000 doses of vaccines across the country. Mobile teams are available to mayors in remote towns and villages,” he said.

Borissov said that Interior Ministry officials also would help to deliver vaccines to hard-to-reach places.

“The more people are immunised, the sooner we will return to a normal lifestyle. That is why we will provide vaccines for everyone,” he said.

Sofia municipality said that as of February 22, immunisation also was available at five municipal diagnostic-consulting centres in the city – the 11th, 12th, 13th, 24th and 25th.

The municipality said that on February 21, a total of 336 people received vaccinations at three municipal hospitals, the First, Second and Fifth.

The statement said that vaccination of people in the third phase of the national vaccination plan was continuing at the Second and Fifth municipal hospitals.

As of February 22, a total of 23 vaccination points are operating in the Plovdiv district.

The “green corridor” at Medline hospital in Plovdiv will continue to serve patients today. More than 100 people were vaccinated at the hospital on February 21. None reported adverse effects, the hospital said.

Plovdiv regional governor Dani Kanazireva said that at the vaccination spots in the district, no one would be turned away and anyone who wanted would be vaccinated. There would be “green corridors” for vaccinations this coming weekend as well, Kanazireva said.

In Bulgaria’s Danube River city of Rousse, a “green corridor” will be provided on weekdays for anyone who wants to be immunised but does not fall into the current category for immunisation under the national vaccination plan. Making an appointment is not necessary.

In Rousse, vaccinations at administered at the regional health inspectorate from 1pm to 4.30pm on Mondays to Fridays, at the Kanev University Hospital on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am. Rousse’s statement said that at this stage, the vaccines being administered were of the AstraZeneca brand.

In a television interview this past weekend, Professor Assen Baltov, head of Pirogov emergency hospital in Sofia, said that people vaccinated with AstraZeneca should not drink alcohol in the evening after vaccination. He said that he did not mean a glass of wine, but more than 50ml of hard liquor.

On February 22, Bulgaria’s Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev answered, as part of a regular feature on Nova Televizia, viewers’ questions about Covid-19 vaccines.

Asked if it was possible to have the second dose in a city other than the one where the first dose was administered, Kunchev said that it was not impossible, but it was preferable to get the second dose where the first one was given, because this would make the process easier.

“Once a vaccination is done and entered into the system, there is data about this person, regardless of where he is,” Kunchev said.

Asked if the second dose could be postponed, he said: “”It’s not good to procrastinate indefinitely. In principle, there is no deadline for vaccines. There is an optimal term. Many studies show that if the second dose is taken during this period, the level of antibodies is as high as possible”.

Kunchev said that the online system for registering to get vaccinated was scheduled to start working on March 1. “I can’t guarantee that if a person signs up, there will be no queues. There are queues all over the world that are longer than ours. ”

Replying to a question about how many doses of vaccines had been imported into Bulgaria, he said that there was nothing in the refrigerators anymore. “In many places at the regional health inspectorates they are working with the minimum quantities. About 60 000 to 70 000 doses have been distributed to doctors”.

Asked when it would be possible to choose with which vaccine to be immunised, Kunchev said that it was difficult to say when “because just two days ago we again received a slight downward adjustment in the figure from one of the suppliers”.

“The European Commission is expected to approve the Janssen vaccine after March 15. The quantities we will receive in March are about half a million. This means that a level of satisfaction will be reached and there will be a choice,” he said.

(Photo: Military Medical Academy)

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