Bulgaria: Opening of Additional Vaccination Slots Gave Amazing Effect, 16,000 Inoculated over Weekend
During the weekend, from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening, 1,950 patients were vaccinated with AstraZeneca in Pirogov emergency hospital," Prof. Asen Baltov, director of the medical institution, said at a briefing. By comparison, he pointed out that 4,200 were vaccinated from December 27 to this weekend, with 1,250 with a second dose.
The hospital's director said the effect of the opened additional slots, the so-called "green lanes" for vaccination was astounding, with about 16,000 people being inoculated against the coronavirus in two days.
On Friday afternoon, the vaccination of all willing persons started off, regardless of the phase of the National Vaccination Plan in which they fall, queues immediately formed in front of the hospitals in Sofia and other cities. Already on Saturday, a “green corridor” was provided at Pirogov emergency hospital for all citizens who wished to be immunized against COVID-19. On the territory of the medical institution are five vaccination sites.
Vaccination today will continue throughout the day as long as there are people waiting, Prof. Baltov promised.
"Today after 1 p.m. we have the opportunity to open the "green lanes" at five vaccination sites in Pirogov for anyone who wants to be able to receive the Oxford vaccine. As long as there are people, we'll vaccinate. We usually work until 5:30 p.m., but if necessary, the time can be extended. People will not be turned down," Prof. Baltov added.
"During the vaccination day in "Pirogov", there was no case of a severe allergic reaction that required to refer the patient to the toxicological clinic or an emergency toxicological office", explained the Director of "Pirogov".
There were complaints of fever, but this was temporary, with the symptoms fading in 24 hours, he said.
After the first dose, he said, you should not drink alcohol for 24 hours, only a glass of beer or wine is allowed, the mask should also necessarily be worn, and observance of distancing and disinfection should continue.
There is also a vaccination site working 24-hour. It is located in St. Ivan Rilski hospital in Sofia. There were those who wanted immunization at night. About 20 people passed through the vaccination office.
"The most curious is the case of a long-haul trucker who came at 3 am after midnight. He explained that he has to travel very early in the morning and for him this is the most convenient time. There were a lot of people coming before 6 a.m., mainly teachers," explained hospital spokeswoman Monica Nikolova.
The necessary arrangement were made in less than a day. At the moment, the staff are not overloaded. About 300 people came for vaccination on Sunday. No prior registration is required. People wait an average of 30 minutes. Work is also being done on opening additional vaccination slots.
As for the possibility of vaccinating against COVID-19 of all willing persons, regardless of the phase of the National Vaccination Plan, yesterday Minister of Health Prof. Kostadin Angelov sent a letter to the 28 regional health inspectorates in the country. In it, he ordered the necessary arrangement to be made so as vaccines are administered at immunization sites as follows:
- Throughout the day on weekends
- In the afternoon from Monday to Friday
- if necessary - 24/7 in medical institutions in the regional centers.
As of today, mass vaccination begins in GPs’ offices, as 4,300 GPs are involved in the process after they had to collect data from their patients in the past month and make lists of those who want to be immunized.
There are enough vaccines available, the health authorities assure.
More than 25,700 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are expected to arrive in Bulgaria today.
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