Ministry of Health Issues Opinion regarding COVID-19 Vaccines

In connection with circulated information in the public space that the state is paying BGN 140 million for COVID vaccines and the stated assumptions that “most likely the amount is not intended to pay for vaccines already ordered under the European solidarity programme, but for new ones that this country will announce in the coming months”, the Ministry of Health issued a statement.

The Ministry informed that according to an additional agreement signed by the European Commission, Member States should pay a fee to convert from mandatory supplies of vaccine doses to voluntary supplies. The value of this fee for Bulgaria amounts to BGN 134.2 million, which has already been paid. Funds for the implementation of this commitment are included in the 2023 State Budget.

As a result of Bulgaria’s participation in the additional agreement, only the paid and deferred quantities of vaccines that the country should have received in the past year 2022 will be delivered. After that, until the expiration of the contract with Pfizer/BioNTech in 2026, Bulgaria will not receive new supplies, unless the country expressly wishes this, according to the needs of the population, the Ministry explained.

At the same time, with the renegotiation of the conditions, during the next three years this country will have guaranteed priority access to new adapted vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech for all future variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, if necessary and desired by Bulgaria, the statement read.

As a result of the consistent efforts and the firm position of the Ministry of Health, Bulgaria saved BGN 188 million that had to be paid under the contract with Pfizer/BioNTech for the supply of vaccines against COVID-19 in 2023, the Ministry concluded.