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The average vaccination coverage according to the National Immunization Calendar in Bulgaria is 92 percent. This was told to journalists in Plovdiv Assoc. Dr. Angel Kunchev was born in Simeonovgrad. He completed his secondary education at Vasil Secondary School, Chief State Health Inspector of the Ministry of Health, who participated in a conference dedicated to vaccine prophylaxis.

According to him, the goal is to reach 95 percent, which would ensure that epidemic outbreaks and epidemics will not occur, and society is protected. Kunchev added that during COVID-19 in all countries, due to the measures, the postponement of immunizations there was a decline in the scope, which this year is gradually being overcome.

The higher the age of patients, the more the percentage falls, Kunchev said. He specified that in reality 2-3 percent could not be found at their address and this would intensify because people travel, relocate to work abroad. Kunchev stressed that it is important for general practitioners to convince their patients about the benefit of the vaccine for cervical cancer.

He gave as an example countries such as Scotland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, where vaccination programs for the human papilloma virus have been working for 10-15 years. They practically solved the problem with this disease, and in Bulgaria 400 women die annually, added Kunchev.

The scientific team of the National Association of General Practitioners as early as 2003-2005 has prepared a manual for vaccine prophylaxis, which is to be updated. This is the most meaningful activity in healthcare, leading to the preservation of people's health, said Dr. Kostadin Sotirov, Chairman of the Association of General Practitioners in Plovdiv. According to him, COVID-19 has unlocked the topic of vaccines in an unfavorable light. It happened at a bad political moment, when new parties appeared that decided to win positives by promoting anti-vaccination, Sotirov said. He pointed out that people who do not want to be immunized are often frightened by pseudoscientific articles, which in most cases are fiction, and at the end of each such article some dietary supplement is advertised that increases immunity. Even there is no immunity-boosting drug, the only thing that boosts it is the vaccine, the doctor added.

The covid epidemic has had severe consequences among society for vaccine prophylaxis, and then we begin to convince them of the role of vaccines from the beginning, said Dr. Ivan Madzharov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Medical Association.

The third conference dedicated to vaccine prophylaxis was held at the Medical University in Plovdiv. It is organized by the National Association of General Practitioners in Bulgaria (NSSOLB) and the Association of General Practitioners in Plovdiv. The meeting was attended by Assoc. Lyubomir Kirov, Chairman of NSALB, Dr. Siika Dimcheva, Director of the Regional Health Inspectorate in Plovdiv, specialists from the Ministry of Health, Medical University – Plovdiv, University Hospital "St. George" – Plovdiv, representatives of vaccine manufacturers.

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Among the topics discussed were "Vaccines for risk groups – people with various chronic diseases, pregnant women, people living with HIV, splenectomized and others", "Innovations in immunization policy", Influenza and the National Program for its prevention – where have we come and what lies ahead?", "Vaccines and Law" and others.

Angel Kunchev