Pace of vaccination against Covid-19 in Bulgaria ‘practically stalled’

The pace of vaccination against Covid-19 in Bulgaria has “practically stalled” for many reasons, Bulgarian Medical Association deputy head Dr Nikolai Branzalov said in an interview with Bulgarian National Television on July 10.

“This is a fact that does not speak well of what will happen in the next wave of the coronavirus,” Branzalov said.

“There are no more problems with the logistics of vaccines. Anyone who wants can find in a matter of minutes an option to go get vaccinated and protect themselves. Medical professionals are also ready to vaccinate,” he said.

Branzalov said that in terms of logistics, things could speed up if companies start producing one dose instead of six in one vial. This would avert having to wait for six people willing to be vaccinated before opening a vial, he said.

“Since we can store them in our refrigerators for a month, the vaccination process in Bulgaria will definitely be accelerated to some extent,” he said.

So far, very few vaccines had been dumped, Branzalov said.

There have been concerns in recent weeks that with the slow pace of vaccine uptake, Bulgaria would have to start dumping vaccine doses as they reach their expiry date.

Bulgaria has imported about 4.6 million doses of vaccines against Covid-19.

As The Sofia Globe reported earlier, as of July 9, about 1.84 million doses have been administered. According to the national information system, 846 858 people in Bulgaria have completed the vaccination cycle.

Caretaker Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov, interviewed by Nova Televizia on July 9, said that only about 10 to 12 per cent of Bulgaria’s population had received two doses of vaccine.

Katsarov said that no vaccines had been discarded.

A large batch of AstraZeneca vaccines will expire on August 31.

He said that interest in receiving the AstraZeneca was “really low”.

“We will be able to donate them to neighbouring countries before they expire,” Katsarov said.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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