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In the event that a vaccine becomes available next year, vaccination will be rolled out in three stages, with high-risk citizens in the first stage, key workers in the second, and the general public in the third. The third stage of vaccinations will not be funded by the government. Photo: Health Minister Adam Vojtech, Aug 24. Credit: Vlada.cz.

Czech Rep., Sep 8 (BD) – The Czech Ministry of Health has released a draft national vaccination strategy for coronavirus, to be used in the event that a workable vaccine is developed. The document states that: “Despite the pressure and efforts to rapidly develop a vaccine, it is realistic to anticipate a registered vaccine possibly by the end of 2020 at the earliest, to become available in 2021.”

According to the draft document, vaccination will be the most effective tool against the coronavirus pandemic. The main goal is to prevent deaths, complications and hospital overload. “Although we do not yet have a coronavirus vaccine on the table, we need to be ready when it becomes available. The vaccine is a key way out of the current situation. It will protect the population from disease and prevent the spread of the disease in the population,” said Health Minister Adam Vojtěch.

Photo: The government has also approved recommendations for authorities on how to protect employees from the risk of covid-19 transmission, September 7, 2020. Image and caption credit: Vlada.cz.

The strategy was developed jointly by the Ministry of Health, the Czech Vaccinology Society of the Czech Medical Society of Jan Evangelista Purkyně, and the Czech National Immunization Commission. Vaccination will be voluntary, and take place at GP surgeries or vaccination facilities at hospitals and health institutions, or in private clinics for those not covered by the state or public health insurance. It will be carried out in three stages:

  • In the first stage, those at high-risk of infection or serious illness will be vaccinated, including anyone over 65 years of age, and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, severe obesity, cancer, kidney or liver disease, severe diabetes, and those who have received transplants. This group also includes medical staff in intensive care units, emergency rooms, rescue services, and lung departments, as well as hygienists, lab technicians, and staff and clients of social services. According to Prof. Roman Chlíbek, a clinician from the Czech Vaccinology Society, this first group totals around 3.5 million people.
  • The second group will include key workers, including general practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, firefighters and police officers, staff in the energy sector, members of the government, and crisis staff. According to Chlíbek, the first two groups may be vaccinated at the same time if there is sufficient supply.
  • The third stage of the vaccination will be open to the general public, according to interest. Unlike the first two stages, the government will not pay for vaccinations carried out in this stage.

Czech statisticians and health professionals will need to determine how many vaccinations are required, before procurement is carried out collectively at the EU level.

The draft is open to comments from the public until September 21st at the email address: strategieockovani@mzcr.cz.

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