Bulgaria has Stopped Supply from the AstraZeneca Vaccine
Bulgaria has stopped supplying vaccines from AstraZeneca, due to lack of interest in it and the risk of discarding the vaccines. In the last three months, there have been no deliveries of the AstraZeneca product in Bulgaria, according to data from the Ministry of Health. Bulgaria is ordering minimal quantities of vaccines from new manufacturers, awaiting approval at the European level, and there is already a vaccine that we have completely abandoned - that of the American company "Novavax". And these decisions, like the initial requests for vaccines, are made vaguely without sufficient reasoning.
In response to a parliamentary question from August, caretaker Minister Stoycho Katsarov announced that a total of 1,183,200 doses had been delivered under the contract with AstraZeneca as of August 10th. As of November 16, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the delivered doses of AstraZeneca vaccine are the same - 1,183,200. The same amount of delivered doses was announced in October to Sega and the Ministry of Health. At the same time, under the contract with the company AstraZeneca, Bulgaria expects a total of 4,518,232 doses, and this is the manufacturer from which we initially ordered the largest quantities.
It is not clear whether the contract with AstraZeneca is only temporarily frozen or our country has decided to abandon it completely, as well as how much it will cost. Vaccine applications have been collected at EC level in order to conclude preliminary purchase agreements, but the supply contracts themselves are bilateral - between Member States and the specific manufacturer. The AstraZeneca vaccine is not expensive, as the specific prices are secret, but in addition to the donations made by Bulgaria, it has already been seen that the price of one dose is BGN 3.5. While Bulgaria froze supplies, the EC went to court over delayed quantities and eventually reached an agreement with the company.
Against the background of the record low interest in vaccination in our country, Bulgaria declares negligible quantities of the newly developed vaccines, for which the European Commission concludes general agreements, shows an overview of the decisions taken so far by the Cabinet. Our country has decided to approve the purchase of only 10,000 doses of the expected vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur SA and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals. This vaccine has been delayed a lot, and the pre-ordered quantities from Bulgaria are even higher - 4,650,000 doses. Bulgaria has joined with only 10,000 doses in the new agreement of the European Commission for the purchase of up to 60 million doses of the vaccine of the company "Valneva Austria". The Valneva vaccine is a type of inactivated vaccine. Against this background, our country directly refused to get involved with the preliminary agreement for the purchase of vaccines from the American manufacturer Novavax. This vaccine is antigenic - like Sanofi's, and is highly effective, with Cabinet Borisov 3 had plans to deliver 1,550,000 doses. Lastly, the cabinet decided not to participate in the EC's supply agreement. "With the ordered doses from" Sanofi "and" Valneva "and ordered sufficient quantities of vaccines from 4 different platforms - adenoviral, RNA, antigenic and inactivated, therefore the involvement of Bulgaria with the Novavax vaccine is not necessary," argued succinctly from the Ministry of Health in answer questions from "Sega" why we give up this manufacturer.
The low quantities of vaccines ordered from the new products on the market can be explained against the background of the huge quantities of deliveries of the vaccine of "Pfizer / BionTech", with which our country is already committed. As early as May, Bulgaria announced the purchase of 14 million doses for 2022 and 2023 at an approximate value of BGN 534 million. This makes an average value of about BGN 38 per dose.
Bulgaria managed to donate a large part of the delivered doses of the vaccine to AstraZeneca, so as not to throw large quantities, but still has a large number of vaccines discarded. The government negotiated donations of a total of 492,500 doses of AstraZeneca's product (172,500 doses for Bhutan, 50,000 for Bosnia and Herzegovina, 270,000 doses for Bangladesh), but it still had to be scrapped due to expired or unused total quantities. 184,089 doses as of October With the set doses - 479,200, the total amount is close to the delivered ones. For the other manufacturers the total number of discarded doses is smaller (data as of October 10) - 4500 for the Pfizer vaccine, 12,955 for "Moderna", 199 at "Jansen".
The proposed vaccine is a single-dose antigen vaccine that is not expected to be used at this stage for primary immunization, but in survivors or those vaccinated with another pandemic vaccine against COVID-19. It is an alternative to vaccination in people with contraindications to other types of vaccines. The expected delivery dates are in the first half of 2022. The order of 10,000 doses of the Sanofi / GlaxoSmithKline vaccine will allow Bulgaria to take part in the contract and in the future, if necessary, to provide additional quantities, explained the Ministry of Health on the occasion of the requested 10 000 units against the background of a larger expected quantity.
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