Politico: Bulgaria’s Bumpy Road to Vaccination Targets

Society » HEALTH | January 25, 2021, Monday // 14:49
Bulgaria: Politico: Bulgaria’s Bumpy Road to Vaccination Targets

Given the snail’s pace at which the health authorities in Bulgaria have been vaccinating against coronavirus recently, the European target of vaccinating 70% of the total adult population will be achieved in August 2040. The European Commission recommends that it should be done by the end of summer 2021.

The calculations are by the Brussels-based Politico newspaper and aims to illustrate how slowly the placement of vaccines in the EU begins in the first month of the campaign. The conclusion is based on the average number of vaccinated daily in the last 7 days prior to the publication on January 22.

In case of Bulgaria we are talking about 1,139 doses and if the country wants by 22 September 2021 to achieve the goal of administering 2 doses until the minimum threshold for collective immunity is reached, it will have to scale up the number of daily vaccinations 29 times - to 33,368 doses per day.

This is not a prognosis, because it does not include the expected hundreds of thousands of doses of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines that Bulgaria expects in the coming months. The expected on January 29 approval of AstraZeneca's product, and other vaccine candidates in the coming months was not taken into account. The problem of Pfizer's reduced supplies, which according to manufacturer will resume from February 15, has not been accounted for in this analysis either.

A change in vaccination rates is also expected to result from the government’s decision to pay each medic a BGN 10 bonus for each dose given.

Given this approach, the calculation shows that at the end of September Bulgaria will have vaccinated 3% of the target groups. The optimistic prognosis (according to director of the National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases Todor Kantardzhiev) of Boyko Borissov’s government of is for 2 million vaccinated Bulgarians by the end of August, which is only a little over half of those 70% of the adult population.

Yet the differences in how they started, albeit on different dates since Christmas, national vaccination campaigns show impressive gaps among the countries.

Of all the EU countries, small Malta performs best in terms of the pace - if it maintains the same pace by 22 September it will have protected 37% of the group and by May 2022 it will have vaccinated 70% of the adult population. Many will be surprised, but the second is Romania - 26% vaccinated by September 22 and the end of the campaign in December 2022.

Other countries need to think about the slow start too - in order to achieve the goal Latvia needs to increase the doses placed every day 17 times, Italy - 10 times, Hungary - 9. The EU-wide average is 5 times.






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