The European Commission has called on EU countries to plan vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 in the autumn as a precaution before new waves of infection are expected after temperatures drop.

In a statement on the recommendation to license Moderna and Pfizer/Biotech’s Omicron-adapted vaccines, European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said: “We must be prepared to face another COVID-19 winter.”

“I again call on Member States to plan and start their vaccination campaigns, including with the adapted vaccines. It is essential to continue to prioritize the uptake of the primary vaccination and the first booster dose among all eligible persons,” said Kyriakides, addressing to the health authorities.

She adds that the European Commission will publish guidelines for European capitals on how to write their vaccination strategies and what measures to take to avoid another wave of COVID-19 in autumn and winter.

“Everyone who is eligible for a vaccine or booster should receive it as soon as possible. The pandemic is not over, but the rapid development and adaptation of vaccines to respond to this virus is one of the greatest successes of modern history of medicine. Let us now make sure that we protect as much as possible, for ourselves and for our loved ones,” the European health commissioner said in a statement.

The spokesman for health issues of the EPP parliamentary group in the European Parliament, Peter Liese, announced that the first adapted vaccines against “Omicron” will be received in some European countries as early as next week.

He adds that the vaccination should be oriented to the risk groups – people over 60, as well as those with weakened health, whose last vaccine was given more than 6 months ago.

Bulgaria is the worst performing country in Europe in terms of vaccination against the infection, consistently with the lowest percentage of vaccinated population since the introduction of vaccines in 2021.

According to data from the European Health Agency, 72.8% of European citizens are vaccinated. 53.6% have one booster, and 6.1% a second one.

In Bulgaria, the vaccinated are 29.9%, those with one booster – 11.5%, and those vaccinated with a second booster are only 0.8%.