Deputy PM Pekanov Urges People to Get Vaccinated in Order to Avoid Serious COVID Restrictions

SC 13:17:31 12-10-2021
DS1315.108
108 HEALTHCARE - COVID-19 - INFLUENZA - VACCINES Amp.

Deputy PM Pekanov Urges People
to Get Vaccinated in Order
to Avoid Serious COVID Restrictions


Sofia, October 12 (BTA) - Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds Management Atanas Pekanov Tuesday appealed to people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because, in his words, that would help against the introduction of severe measures and for the faster return to normal of economic life, which is of key importance for Bulgarian economy. Pekanov was speaking at a roundtable on the participation of organized civil society in the development and implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

The event was organized by the Economic and Social Council and was hosted by the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria.

Pekanov expressed satisfaction with that fact that the NRRP is ready and will be tabled in the Council of Ministers on October 15. He stressed, however, that the low vaccination rate will threaten the NRRP's successful implementation. "We might have planned it well but if it is not implemented well, our efforts would have been in vain," he noted.

Bogomil Nikolov, head of the Active Consumers association, also expressed concern over the low vaccination rate in Bulgaria, which will directly affect the economy and will have an impact on the NRRP. He called on the government to step up its efforts to convince people why they need to get inoculated.

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The low flu circulation during the last season can lead to weakened herd immunity and more severe cases this season, said the head of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Country Office in Bulgaria, Dr. Skender Syla, during a BTA-hosted news conference here on Tuesday. According to him, more serious flu infections can be expected among children under 10 years of age and among people over 65.

The flu is a preventable infectious disease that is easily transmitted and infects around 10 to 30 per cent of the population each year, leading to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations across Europe, Syla added.

Prof. Iva Hristova of the National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases said that over 8,400 people were hospitalized with the flu last year, the majority of whom were over 65 or people suffering from chronic diseases. Hristova said that according to her Centre's data, a flu epidemic can be expected this year. She recalled that the WHO recommends there be a 14-day interval between the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot.

Bulgaria ranks last in Europe in terms of flu vaccination coverage, which is under 10 per cent, said Valeri Tsekov of the Bulgarian Innovative Medicine Association. According to him, the flu vaccination coverage among the elderly has increased over the past two years as part of a national programme.

This year's flu vaccine provides protection against the following influenza strains: Victoria, Cambodia, Washington, Phuket. The free flu shot, offered as part of the national programme, will be supplied to general practitioners in mid-October, the Health Ministry reported in recent days.

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