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Prof. Alexandrova: It is our duty to inform people and protect their health

It is our duty to inform their people and protect their health, and the goal of viruses is to multiply and spread. In this respect, Omicron is in the ten. The next option needs to be amended a lot to break through after Omicron. This was stated by Prof. Radostina Alexandrova at the opening of another discussion about doctors from outpatient care organized by Astra Forum Foundation together with the Ministry of Health and Regional Health Inspection – Vratsa.

‘Viruses chase their interests, and they do not match ours. Avoiding the immune response from getting sick and vaccinating will be the big challenge for the coronavirus. Therefore, our only move is to get vaccinated to prevent it,’ prof. Alexandrova.

Immunizations have historically been our main means of fighting communicable diseases for one hundred years. This was the theme of the presentation of Dr. Radosveta Filipova, state expert in the Directorate “Protection of Public Health and Health Control” at the Ministry of Health during the seminar at the Regional Health Insurance Institute – Vratsa.

Dr. Filipova presented recommendations to the Council of the EU to strengthen cooperation in the fight against vaccination-preventable diseases.

Attendees were presented with the model of motivational interviewing as an appropriate approach for patients with reservations to COVID-19 vaccination, and in the last year against immunizations on the mandatory calendar. The communication approach is personality-oriented and is designed to support an individual’s motivation and readiness for change.

Motivational interviewing is a strong tool that shows effectiveness in increasing confidence in vaccines and reducing mistrust (1, 2). This method is a good practice that the WHO recommends integrating into the training of immunization doctors and other medical professionals involved in consultation on the topic (3)

The participating physicians actively commented during the discussion, asking questions from their practice, as well as sharing specific experiences inworking with patients in relation to vaccines.

The meeting is another of the program to raise the awareness of doctors from outpatient care for their communication with patients. More than fifty doctors from Vratsa region participated in it. All of them received a communication algorithm for health workers on the topic of vaccination against COVID-19 and a booklet to support rehabilitation in the post-disease period related to COVID-19 developed by the WHO.

The event is part of a long-term initiative of the Astra Forum Foundation together with the Ministry of Health, America for Bulgaria Foundation, WHO, UNICEF, BMA, and the Bulgarian Association of Innovative Medicine.

  1. Gagneur A, Bergeron J, Gosselin V, Farrands A, Baron G. A complementary approach to the vaccination promotion continuum: an immunization-specific motivational-interview training for nurses. Vaccine 2019 May;37(20):2748–56. DOI PubMed
  2. Gagneur A, Gosselin V, Bergeron J, Farrands A, Baron G. Development of motivational interviewing skills in immunization (MISI): a questionnaire to assess MI learning, knowledge and skills for vaccination promotion. Hum Vaccin Immunother 2019;15(10):2446–52. DOI PubMed
  3. Improving vaccination demand and addressing hesitancy. Geneva (CH): World Health Organization (Accessed 2020- 02-17). systems/vaccine_hesitancy/en/L’entretien motivationnel, une stratégie efficace pour diminuer l’hésitation à la vaccination: 28 Novembre 2019: Atelier méthodologique. Montréal (QC): 2019. programmes-scientifiques

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