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Mayor Revanski during vaccination, Source: City of Belitsa

Bulgarian mayor offers 20% pay raise to city officials who get the vaccine

Bulgarian mayor offers 20% pay raise to city officials who get the vaccine

Mayor Revanski has chosen to lead by incentives and example, as he himself has received three shots

Yesterday, Radoslav Revanski, the mayor of the small Bulgarian town of Belitsa, announced a 20% pay raise for all employees of the local government that get their COVID-19 vaccine. Mayor Revanski conceived the move as an attempt to push local vaccination levels further along, amid Bulgaria’s rocky health campaign.

Lead by example

Bulgaria is the country with the lowest vaccination rate in the European Union - currently sitting at around 25% of the population. Naturally, this has pushed the country’s per capital Covid death rate to the top of the charts.

Furthermore, Bulgaria had an early start of the fourth wave, with infection numbers reaching dangerous levels at the beginning of October. According to the data, infections peaked on 27 October, when cases passed the 5,600 mark. Around the same time, authorities issued stricter measures for public gatherings and introduced the COVID-19 green certificate.

However, despite the slight bump in the vaccination rate, numbers are still low, due to widespread vaccine scepticism. Thus, many local leaders have opted for a lead-by-example approach plus offering additional incentives.

Radoslav Revanski has had three shots already and he hopes, through the wage incentive, to push the local jab rate higher. This, could then, in theory, lead to a higher vaccination rate among the general population in Belitsa.

Tourist towns need to be Covid-safe

A high vaccination rate is crucial for the small town nestled in the Rila mountain, as one of the main drivers behind the local economy is the winter tourist season. Managing reasonably the Covid waves in Bulgaria and Belitsa could have even more profound benefits for the region.

According to the BTA, a news agency, the mayor urged people to uphold their civic duty, by choosing to protect the economy and society in general, by taking the shot. He continued: “COVID-19 has proven to be a more long-term and serious challenge than we have anticipated. The pandemic has left a mark on our everyday lives. So I ask everyone should take the vaccine so that we can avoid all the dangers that lead to death.”

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