While the percentage of complete pollination in Western Europe is generally around 70 percent, as in Norway, it is catastrophically low in parts of Eastern Europe. Figures in Bulgaria show less than 25 percent received two doses Our world in data.
The country has the lowest vaccination rate and the highest covid-19 death rate in the European Union – 27,000 died of the disease in a population of 7 million during the pandemic.
The new variant of the omicron crown now creates uncertainty and fear. Countries with very low immunization rates are particularly vulnerable.
The European Union also fears that a new type of virus could evolve in a society where the majority have not been vaccinated.
The European Union, UK and US are among the countries that have imposed travel restrictions on travelers from South Africa in hopes of curbing the spread of the disease.
At the same time, more and more countries are reporting cases of the dreaded variant. The UK, Italy, Germany and Israel are among the countries that have reported cases. Denmark suspects that two people, recently returned from a trip to South Africa, have contracted the new variant.
Doses should be dropped
Bulgaria’s figures do not reflect a vaccine shortage. There is a large stockpile of all major vaccines, but this summer Bulgaria donated 172,500 doses of AstraZeneca to the Asian country of Bhutan as it is said to be obsolete, according to Reuters.
On the contrary, the low vaccination rate indicates that the average Bulgarian simply does not want to be vaccinated. He writes that the suspicion of the vaccine and the authorities is high independent in a report.
According to the newspaper, opinion polls show that up to 70 percent of Bulgarians are against vaccination.
The figures are so alarming that the European Union fears that a new type of virus is developing among the Bulgarian population.
– If we do nothing, a Bulgarian variant can arise because so many people have not been vaccinated, says Thierry Breton, director of the EU vaccination program.
The truth of conspiracy theories
The authorities have tried to increase the numbers through advertising campaigns, lectures in schools and businesses, as well as lotteries, for example. You can win a smartwatch if you are vaccinated. But little work.
The reason for mistrust is complex. Some people are afraid of side effects and others doubt it will work. A lot of people believe in conspiracy theories.
– All I hear is that they have read something and do not want to expose themselves to the vaccine, Dr Pippa Tsvetanova told The Independent.
In a large November Trend survey, 52% responded that COVID-19 is an industrially produced virus; 40% believe the virus is part of a conspiracy between pharmaceutical companies. 33% are convinced that the disease is not worse than the flu. And 16% think vaccines contain microchips that can control people, he writes Al Jazeera.
– I am in good health and I do not need a vaccine. In general, I trust the doctors, but not the vaccine, truck driver Karamvil Kamenov, 52, told The Independent.
false aura pass
There is also a difference between city and country, poor and rich. The vaccination rate is much higher in large cities such as the capital, Sofia, than in rural areas.
“I doubt that the vaccine they give the rich is the same as the one the poor get,” a teenager from a small town northwest of Vidin told The Independent.
At the same time, there is a widespread problem that doctors allow themselves to be bribed into issuing fake Corona passports to vaccine deniers, so that they can travel abroad. The problem is so widespread that the authorities are considering installing surveillance cameras in vaccination centers.
– You go to the doctor, he logs everything he needs into the system, then he throws the vaccine in the trash instead of giving it to you, opposition politician and supporter Christov Ivanov told Al Jazeera. vaccine.
He specifies that of his 3,000 patients, only 700 have been vaccinated.
The problem also extends to the health sector. According to the Bulgarian Medical Association, around a third of doctors are not vaccinated, while up to half of workers at some hospitals in Sofia have refused injections.
The problem of low vaccination rates is also important in other Eastern European countries such as Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ukraine. According to the British newspaper, much of the suspicion is rooted in a great distrust of the authorities of the Communist era.
The church is against it
Bulgaria is also in a state of political chaos. This year, the country has held three elections without clear results and it still lacks a governing coalition. Prime Minister Bogko Borisov has received his share of the blame from critics, who note that he has set up two health agencies to deal with the pandemic, partly giving mixed messages.
The opposition also tried to make political money by undermining Borisov’s authority by questioning his coronavirus measures, including the vaccination program; A right-wing populist party promoting opposition to vaccination entered Bulgaria’s parliament earlier in November.
In addition, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church refused to support mass vaccination and instead promoted the message of the holiness and purity of the body of Jesus.