Bulgaria’s Health Ministry warns against disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines

The vaccines with which Bulgaria is conducting its immunisation campaign against Covid-19 have successfully passed all three phases of clinical trials, the Health Ministry said on June 2 in a statement outlining the benefits of the vaccines and warning against disinformation about them.

The vaccines have been developed in accordance with the same legal requirements for pharmaceutical quality, safety and efficacy as other medicines, the ministry said.

Like all medicines, the effects of vaccines are tested first in a laboratory, including on animals, then studies are performed on a large number of volunteers from different countries, at different ages, with or without comorbidities, it said.

“Prior to approval, all vaccines in the EU are evaluated to the same high standards as any other medicine.

“What is different about Covid-19 vaccines is that the rate of development and potential approval is much faster due to the public health emergency,” the ministry said.

To this end, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had set up a special expert working group and rapid review procedures to evaluate companies’ high-quality proposals as soon as possible, while ensuring solid scientific evidence of the benefits of vaccines.

“Vaccines are safe and effective against severe disease and possible serious health effects,” the ministry said.

“Vaccination provides individual protection, but with the achievement of high vaccine coverage among the population, the spread of Covid-19 will be limited.”

The goal of the Ministry of Health is to achieve collective immunity in the country, which means that at least 70 per cent of the population will be immunised.

It is most important that the elderly and those with chronic diseases receive the vaccine, as the risk of severe disease and death is highest. To protect citizens, the ministry has provided sufficient quantities of all EU-approved vaccines, and their use is free and voluntary, regardless of citizens’ health insurance status, the statement said.

“We need to be careful, because false information about vaccines is increasingly being spread in the public sphere. This undermines the credibility of the immunisation process and the benefits of vaccines.”

Science is adamant that vaccines against Covid-19 are harmless and safe – they have nothing to do with the 5G data network; do not lead to infertility; do not alter human DNA; do not infect with coronavirus; by vaccination, no chip is inserted into the human body.

In order for citizens to make informed choices, it is important to use credible sources and be critical of everything they read on social media and the internet. Reliable sources of information are the World Health Organization, the European Commission, the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the Health Ministry said.

Among the most frequently asked questions by citizens about vaccines is that of side effects after immunisation, the ministry said.

People do not have to worry because these reactions are normal and pass quickly. These include fatigue, muscle aches, headaches and redness at the injection site. They usually appear immediately after vaccination and last for hours.

Symptoms are expected and indicate that the immune system is responding to the vaccine and producing antibodies against the virus. However, such reactions are not mandatory – most vaccinated do not show any symptoms after immunisation, the Health Ministry said.

In the event of an unexpected adverse reaction, people should inform the healthcare provider who administered the vaccine or the vaccination centre where it was given. An alert can be submitted via an online form, which can be found on the official website of the Medicines Agency, as well as at telephone number 02 8903417, the ministry said.

(Photo via Ministry of Health)

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