Vaccines are discarded in Bulgaria

Demand for vaccines in Bulgaria and Romania has fallen sharply, so authorities are forced to look for ways to quickly use up available quantities before they become unusable. The alternative – to throw them away – would be too depressing given that in a number of poor countries around the world, such as Africa, the coronavirus vaccine is in short supply, according to a Bloomberg publication quoted by Deutsche Welle.

In it we read that the authorities in both countries are trying to sell or donate to other countries the lagging doses of vaccine, and representatives of the hotel business in Bulgaria insisted that the lagging vaccine be offered free of charge to foreign visitors. The publication quotes Polina Karastoyanova from the National Board of Tourism, who says: “Since Bulgaria, and accordingly all of us, have paid for these doses with our taxes, we propose to use them to stimulate vaccination tourism.”

Nearly 20,000 expired doses

Bloomberg also notes that people’s distrust of vaccines is linked to long-standing distrust of the country’s authorities, as well as skepticism about certain vaccines – most notably the British drug AstraZeneca.

The publication also reports that by the end of July in Bulgaria there were about 20,000 doses with expired expiration date. Bloomberg also commented that the low percentage of people vaccinated in Bulgaria risks the EU’s efforts to overcome the pandemic at a time when the Delta coronavirus mutation is spreading, which is causing problems in Britain, Portugal and Russia.

While Romania immunized about 100,000 people a day in April, only about 18,000 doses a day were given in June. The situation is similar in Bulgaria, which is the last in terms of vaccinations in the European Union – about 25,000 people a day were vaccinated there in April, and in June – only 8,000 a day. And while in Romania about 25% of the population is at least one dose, in Bulgaria this share is below 15%.

Therefore, health authorities are looking for alternatives to use already purchased vaccines. Romania, for example, sold 1.1 million doses to Denmark. And Argentina’s national rugby team is vaccinated before a match in Romania.

Bulgarians are most skeptical

Vaccines are failing in Eastern Europe because no one wants them, the German magazine SPIEGEL reported in its headline and published similar data on the reluctance of Bulgarians to be vaccinated. .

It turns out that Bulgarians are the most skeptical. A total of 61% of them said they were reluctant to be immunized. Next in the ranking are Latvia and Croatia, where over 40% of citizens are reluctant to be vaccinated. About 47,000 people took part in the survey between February and March this year.