Bulgaria’s Health Ministry has launched an information campaign on the benefits of vaccination against Covid-19, the ministry said on March 21.
The launch of the campaign comes close to 15 months after the first vaccines against Covid-19 became available in Bulgaria, and a little more than three months after the current government took office.
Bulgaria has among the highest Covid-19 mortality rates in the EU, and the lowest rate of first doses and completed vaccination cycles in the EU-EEA area.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s online vaccine tracker, as of March 18, the uptake among the total population of Bulgaria of at least a single dose of vaccine was 29.9 per cent and of a completed vaccination cycle, 29.5 per cent.
By contrast, across the EU-EEA area, the figures were 75.2 per cent and 72.2 per cent, respectively.
Bulgaria has the second-lowest rate of booster doses, 10.1 per cent, compared with the EU-EEA figure of 52.1 per cent.
Recent weeks have seen a steady decrease in the daily rate of vaccination against Covid-19 in Bulgaria.
The Health Ministry said that its campaign was called + мен (“+ me”), and the strategic goal was to limit the number of deaths due to Covid-19, the number of hospitalisations of Covid-19 patients – including those in intensive care – and to limit the long-term consequences for the health of Bulgarians as a result of Covid-19.
The ministry said that the campaign was part of the implementation of the national operational plan approved by the Cabinet on January 14.
Health Minister Assena Serbezova said: “In spite of the fact that we are currently in the phase of gradual easing of the anti-epidemic measures, that as of today the requirement for a green certificate is dropped everywhere in our country, we must not forget that the Covid-19 pandemic is not over”.
More than 92 per cent of the patients with Covid-19 admitted to medical establishments had not been vaccinated and about 97 per cent who required intensive care had not been vaccinated, Serbezova said.
A website has been set up, with information about the pandemic and about vaccines.
It has information for people who have various diseases, an emphasis on the elderly and chronically ill, women of childbearing age, children and vaccines, vaccination of people with reduced mobility, socially vulnerable groups, and those exposed of higher risk of infection and disease because of their occupation.
The ministry said that the information on the site had been co-ordinated with expert councils in various medical specialities, with leading doctors, the Medicines Agency, the National Centre for Infectious Parasitic Diseases, among others.
The campaign also has a Facebook page and YouTube channel.
The campaign envisages a series of discussions on the CredoWeb National Health Communication Platform.
Over the next two months, the platform, which has access to more than 15 000 health professionals, will focus on thematic events on vaccination for patients with various diseases and conditions, aimed at general practitioners and pre-hospital care physicians, the ministry said.
It said that as part of the campaign, the ministry has launched discussions on the benefits of vaccines and vaccination among emergency centre staff across the country.
The groups targeted by the campaign are older people aged 60 and over; people with chronic diseases; people suffering from specific diseases; parents/guardians of children aged from five to 11, parents/guardians of children from 11 to 17 years; women of reproductive age; people at higher occupational risk of Covid-19; and socially vulnerable population groups.
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