Bulgaria Adopts National Program for Improving Flu Vaccination Coverage
The Bulgarian government on Wednesday adopted a national program for the improvement of seasonal influenza vaccination coverage for the period 2019-2022, the cabinet said here in a statement, reports Xinhua.
The program is aimed at reducing morbidity, complications and mortality from seasonal influenza by improving the immunization coverage of people aged 65 and over, as well as by raising the awareness of the population of the risk of influenza and related complications and ways of prevention, the statement said.
The program would include activities such as providing public funds for seasonal influenza vaccines to cover individuals in the target group, and developing mechanisms for the implementation of immunization and reporting, the statement said.
According to the statement, annual flu epidemics were one of the primary public health concerns due to their high morbidity and mortality rates, and high treatment costs. On average, about 1.4 million to 1.6 million cases of acute respiratory disease and flu occurred in the regional centers of Bulgaria alone every year, it said.
Cases of influenza and related severe complications and deaths could be prevented through the use of highly effective vaccines, it said. However, in Bulgaria, flu vaccination rates were low: in the period between 2013 and 2017, the average rate was only 2.4 per 100 people, mainly because vaccines had to be paid for by the patients themselves, the statement added.
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