Bulgaria to donate 172 500 AstraZeneca doses to Bhutan

Bulgaria is to donate 172 500 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 to Bhutan, the caretaker government in Sofia announced after a meeting on July 14.

The caretaker government approved a draft tripartite agreement between Bulgaria, Bhutan and Astrazeneca and a draft bilateral agreement between Bulgaria and Bhutan, the statement said. These agreements are the basis for negotiations.

The agreements provide for all delivery costs to be borne by Bhutan, the Bulgarian government statement said.

Take-up of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Bulgaria has been low, and the Health Ministry said that a large amount was due to expire at the end of August.

According to the July 14 report by the national information system, of 11 918 doses of vaccines administered in Bulgaria in the previous 24 hours, 8542 were the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 2067 the Janssen, 1177 the Moderna and 132 AstraZeneca.

Bhutan reportedly has been struggling to acquire sufficient doses of AstraZeneca to administer the second dose within deadline, after more than 90 per cent of its population received a first dose.

The European Union has been assisting in calling on its member states to help Bhutan.

Denmark is donating 250 000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Bhutan. The donations from Bulgaria, Croatia and other countries add up to about 100 000.

Vaccines by other manufacturers are being sent to Bhutan, including 500 000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, being sent by the United States, via the COVAX facility.

Bulgaria’s interim administration has also spoken of donating doses that are unused and facing expiry to the countries of the Western Balkans, including its neighbour the Republic of North Macedonia.

(Photo: Bulgaria’s Military Medical Academy)

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