Sofia, January 13 (BTA) – Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine can go into
use in Bulgaria on Thursday, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov
told journalists on Wednesday after the arrival of the first
shipment of the product.
The vaccine will be kept in a storage facility of pharmaceutical
company Bul Bio and will remain in Sofia for the time being. A
larger batch of 4,000 doses will arrive on January 25 and will
be distributed around the country.
The European Commission has signed an agreement for additional
supplies of the Pfizer vaccine, including an indicative 2.9
million doses of it for Bulgaria. The AstraZeneca vaccine is in
the process of registration, Angelov said.
The first phase of vaccination is expected to be completed by
the end of the month. The second phase, targeting residents of
care homes for the elderly, will begin after that – again, on a
voluntary basis. Bulgaria has so far used 16,500 doses of
coronavirus vaccine. More supplies from Pfizer are expected on
Bulgaria is in a relatively good position among the European
nations in terms of percentage of people vaccinated against
COVID-19. If the capacity of all 4,500 personal physicians in
the country is used and if each of them vaccinates 10 persons a
day, the daily immunization rate will be much higher than it is
now, the Health Minister estimated. “The vaccination rate is
encouraging,” he added.
Mass testing of teachers for COVID-19 will begin on January 25,
Angelov went on to say, noting that antigen tests will be used
for the purpose.
Readiness exists to vaccinate the willing members of district
election commissions ahead of the parliamentary elections this
spring, particularly those who will be working in mobile voting
sections. Taking a journalist’s question about the protocol for
conducting elections during the pandemic, Angelov said the
protocol can be presented a month or a month and a half prior to
the ballot. He explained that the protocol should be worked out
as close to the date of the elections as possible.
The anti-epidemic measures will not be revised until the
beginning of February, the Minister said.
Meeting with Albanian Ambassador
Later in the day, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov met with
Albanian Ambassador to Bulgaria Donika Hoxha at the diplomat’s
request, Angelov’s ministry reported. It transpired during the
meeting that Sofia has made a political decision to examine the
possibility to provide COVID-19 vaccines to countries of the
Western Balkans and the EU’s Eastern Partnership, including
Albania. Such supplies will be possible after Bulgaria meets its
own needs, by observing the national procedures of the parties
concerned and the provisions of each advance purchase agreement
concluded between the European Commission and the respective
Angelov and Hoxha agreed to keep in touch and to work on
logistical options for vaccine supply so that everything
necessary can be prepared before delivery becomes possible.