Parliament Tasks Government to Explore Options for Purchase of Non-EU Authorized COVID-19 Vaccines
Sofia, March 5 (BTA) - The National Assembly on Friday tasked
the Government to hold consultations with the European
Commission in order to explore the options for the purchase of
COVID-19 vaccines authorized outside the European Union or the
European Economic Area.
The proposal of the parliamentary Healthcare Committee was
adopted unanimously on 96-0 votes with no abstentions as the
Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the Movement for Rights and
Freedoms (MRF) did not take part in the vote.
MPs rejected 65-9, with 79 abstentions, a proposal by the BSP to
task the government to procure the Russian vaccine Sputnik V,
which prompted Socialist MPs to leave the plenary hall.
The debates were initiated by the BSP which submitted a draft
resolution for the procurement of the Russian vaccine because of
the disrupted supplies of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna и
AstraZeneca vaccines and the delay in the national vaccination
plan. During the debates it emerged that the European Medicines
Agency has started an accelerated procedure for the approval of
the Russian vaccine.
Socialist MP Georgi Yordanov said that vaccines should be
supplied as quickly as possible and that any consultations with
the European Commission doom Bulgarian citizens to lack of
BSP leader Kornelia Ninova asked GERB why they are refusing to
buy more vaccines and offered several explanations: a fear of
taking responsibility, lobbyism and brokerage. She further
speculated whether the incumbent are taking advantage of the
situation to suppress voter turnout in the April 4 elections.
GERB floor leader Daniela Daritkova said that the Government has
decided to ensure access to EU-authorised vaccines because its
main concern is about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
MP Nigyar Dzafer of the MRF said that debates and the decision
are an emanation of political trumping in Bulgaria.
MP Kalin Popovski of the power-sharing United Patriots said that
his group were ready to support BSP's proposal about Sputnik V
procurement but as the vaccine will be authorized in the EU,
there will be no need for force majeure actions. RY/PP