EU has Called on Bulgaria to Speed up Coronavirus Vaccination
Bulgaria needs to speed up coronavirus vaccination to limit health risks for its people and other countries, EU Internal Market Commissioner for the Implementation of the Vaccine Strategy Thierry Breton was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Bulgaria is the least vaccinated nation in the 27-nation bloc, with less than 30% of its adult population receiving at least one vaccine against the virus, and the country has the highest Covid-19-related mortality in the bloc.
"The first risk, of course, is for the Bulgarian population, but also [there is a risk] to create a new variant that is more versatile than the others," Breton told a news conference in Sofia. "I do not want to talk about a potential Bulgarian variant in the winter. And if we do nothing, we can see a Bulgarian version, because there are too many people who have not been vaccinated,"he said.
On Friday, Bulgaria reported 2,785 new infections, lower than the peak in October, and 155 new deaths. The pandemic has killed 26,985 people in the country of seven million. About 22,000 doses of the vaccine have been given in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to more than 3.1 million, according to the health ministry. But many Bulgarians remain skeptical of vaccines amid established distrust of state institutions, misinformation and conflicting messages from politicians and experts amid a protracted political crisis.
In October, the caretaker government introduced a mandatory green certificate for many indoor spaces in an attempt to encourage vaccinations. "Don't confuse politics with science and human health," Breton said, stressing that vaccines have proven to be the most effective tool in fighting the pandemic.
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