Bulgaria’s caretaker Health Minister pushes for stepped-up Covid-19 vaccination in social care homes

Bulgaria’s caretaker Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov has written to caretaker Deputy Prime Minister for Social and Economic Policies and Labour Minister Gulub Donev and regional health inspectorates calling for comprehensive and reliable information on Covid-19 vaccines to be provided to staff and residents of social care homes, the Health Ministry said on June 14.

The Health Ministry said that as of June 14, only 7381 staff of social care homes had received doses of vaccines against Covid-19, of which 3422 had received a second dose.

Of those accommodated in the homes, 10 086 had received jabs, and 4632 had completed the vaccination cycle.

In January, a Health Ministry statement said that there were 15 000 residents of old-age homes in Bulgaria, and 11 000 staff.

At the same time, outbreaks of Covid-19 outbreaks were continuing in these places, and epidemiological studies had shown that the infection was most often transmitted by unvaccinated personnel, the Health Ministry’s June 14 statement said.

“Therefore, it is extremely important to provide reliable information about the importance of the disease and the possibilities for prevention through immunisation,” Katsarov said.

Given the increasing number of cases of infection in social care homes, regional health inspectorates should carry out targeted control over the observance of anti-epidemic measures in social homes, and give instructions about what to do when cases of Covid-19 are confirmed, he said.

In a separate statement, the Health Ministry said that on June 14, a total of 186 030 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 and the 36 000 doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Bulgaria.

The doses were immediately distributed to regional health inspectorates.

The next delivery to Bulgaria of vaccines against Covid-19 is expected on June 16, a total of 179 010 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)

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