Covid-19: Kantardzhiev advises parents to vaccinate children over age of 12

Parents should vaccinate their children who are older than 12 against Covid-19, the former head of Bulgaria’s National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), Professor Todor Kantardzhiev, said in a television interview on August 18.

Kantardzhiev said that there was a higher rate of infection with the Delta variant among young people and teenagers.

He said that there was very slight increase in the number of people willing to be vaccinated.

Bulgaria has by far the lowest rate of vaccination against Covid-19 in the European Union.

On the question of a third dose of vaccine against Covid-19, he said that the NCIPD’s laboratory tests had found that a third dose boosted immunity substantially. “I can say that the third dose will not harm you,” Kantardzhiev said.

He said that it was possible for even those who had been vaccinated to get Covid-19 but “it is important to know you will undergo it easier”.

“You will sniff for two to three days, you will have a temperature of 37.5 degrees, you can infect someone, but you will not go to the hospital and you will not end up on oxygen.”

About seven out of 1000 people who had had the disease would get it again, while of those who had two doses of vaccines, about two to three per cent would get ill, Kantardzhiev said.

His call for the vaccination of children over the age of 12 came on the same day that another case was reported of children who had been on a Black Sea coast holiday being diagnosed with Covid-19.

The regional crisis headquarters in the town of Sliven said that five children aged between 13 and 15 had been diagnosed with Covid-19.

The children were from two groups of pupils who had spent a summer holiday in the same place on the coast, but in different hotels. There was no information that the two groups had been in contact with each other, the statement said.

Four children from one group are ill and the other four are in quarantine. From the other group, one child tested positive, and the other 58 were quarantined. The ill children are undergoing home treatment.

Sliven’s regional crisis headquarters said that parents of children over the age of 12 who want to be vaccinated have a choice between two mRNA vaccines.

The European Medicines Agency has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines against Covid-19 for children aged between 12 and 17.

The announcement from Sliven follows reports this week of Covid-19 outbreaks among school pupils who had been on state-funded holidays at Shkorpilovtsi and Primorsko, respectively, at the coast. The Sliven statement did not make clear whether the cases involved state-funded holidays.

On August 17, the Education Ministry said that it was stopping accepting new applications for the “Together Again” programme, which was introduced by Bulgaria’s caretaker government and involves the state paying for holidays for school pupils, with the stated aim of assisting the domestic tourism industry.

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the Embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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