Bulgaria's Ministry of Health Allows Earlier Whooping Cough Vaccination for Babies Amid Surge in Infections

Health | April 23, 2024, Tuesday // 11:39|  views

In response to a surge in whooping cough infections across the country, the Ministry of Health has announced a significant adjustment to the immunization schedule, permitting the administration of the first whooping cough vaccine to infants at just a month and a half old, rather than waiting until the traditional second month mark as stipulated in the Immunization Calendar.

The decision, reached during a high-level meeting involving Acting Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev, Minister of Health Dr. Galya Kondeva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science Emilia Lazarova, and Chief State Health Inspector Assoc. Angel Kunchev, underscores the severity of the current public health crisis.

Minister Kondeva emphasized that the move comes in response to the alarming increase in whooping cough cases among infants under the age of one, with newborns particularly vulnerable to complications associated with the infection.

Assoc. Prof. Kunchev corroborated this assessment, noting a notable uptick in whooping cough cases since the middle of the previous year, both in Bulgaria and globally. Shockingly, Bulgaria has already recorded 314 cases of whooping cough, a stark contrast to the mere 4 cases reported during the same period in 2023.

In addition to revising vaccination protocols, discussions during the meeting also focused on the stringent measures necessary to contain the spread of whooping cough within educational institutions. Authorities emphasized the importance of parental vigilance and urged parents to promptly seek medical assistance if their child displays any symptoms of the illness.

Emilia Lazarova highlighted the Ministry of Education and Science's proactive approach to monitoring the situation, pledging to implement distance learning protocols if necessary to mitigate the risk of transmission within schools and kindergartens.

Prime Minister Glavchev expressed confidence in the government's preparedness to manage the outbreak effectively, assuring the public that State Matriculation Examinations and the National External Assessment would proceed without disruption.

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Tags: Whooping Cough, vaccination, health, Bulgaria


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