Bulgaria will Finally give Vaccines against COVID-19 to North Macedonia
After former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov spoke about donating vaccines against COVID-19 in March and April, and the caretaker government continued talking in June decided on the donation in August, in September the procedure was completed by the Bulgarian institutions by a decision of the National Assembly on Wednesday (September 8).
Bulgaria will donate 51,480 doses of the vaccine to Pfizer / BioNTech in North Macedonia, and the vials expire on September 30, and it is estimated that the donation is worth BGN 1,560,635. All 146 deputies voted for it, including MPs from GERB, who prevented the final vote on another donation and sale of vaccines against COVID-19, this time they did not delay the procedure for North Macedonia.
Before sending the bottles for Bulgaria's neighboring country, the deputies approved at first reading to be:
- donated 50 thousand doses of the vaccine "Astra Zeneca" / "Oxford" to Bosnia and Herzegovina, as their expiration date expires on September 30, and the donation is worth 175 thousand BGN.
- sold 100 thousand doses of the vaccine "Moderna" to Norway, as their expiration date expires in November and December, and the resale is at an indicative value of BGN 3,780,620.
The rules of the National Assembly suggest that if there are no changes between two readings of a bill, the second vote can be taken immediately after the first and thus speed up the process.
However, GERB-SDS announced that they have considerations for the donation for Bosnia and Herzegovina and the sale for Norway, which is why they will submit proposals for changes between the two readings. The deadline for this is generally seven days, but the deputies reduced it to three due to the announced end of the work of the 46th National Assembly (the president has not yet issued decrees and it is not known when exactly is the last working day of the current parliament, but and informally, the situation is already in pre-election).
Hristo Gadjev from GERB-SDS announced that it is not clear what is the content of the contract for the donation of vaccines to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that "no one has seen it", so the deputies did not know what they were voting for. The chairman of the health commission Silvi Kirilov ("There Is Such a People") replied that the content of the contract is not a secret and that any MP who signs the confidentiality clause can read it. "This is not the first time that there are contracts with confidential content - they can be considered at a closed meeting of a commission," said GERB-SDS's Hristo Gadzhev, who was dissatisfied with Kirilov's explanation.
Christian Vigenin ("BSP for Bulgaria") noted that in general the donation and resale of vaccines against COVID-19 can be made without a decision of the National Assembly, but that the same strategy was undertaken by GERB during their rule, according to him, there was no reason to change the procedure now. The Minister of Health Stoycho Katsarov replied that only the contract with Pfizer / BioNTech requires a decision of the Parliament and addressed the GERB-SDS MPs for the voting of the vaccines for North Macedonia: "I don't know what games you play, but here is not the place to. "
"There Is Such a People" intervened on the topic of vaccines, but with a different focus. The parliamentary group is proposing amendments to the Health Act to regulate that vaccination against COVID-19 is recommended and voluntary.
"We are proposing it so that no health minister can panic and make vaccination mandatory. This is not about anti-vaccination, but about a specific vaccine, which must be voluntary because it is in the third phase of testing," said Toshko Yordanov. According to him, after the order with new measures of the Minister of Health, the restaurateurs asked their employees to be vaccinated. Parliament is unlikely to have time to pass the provision.
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