5.5 Million People To Be Vaccinated in the Czech Republic in the First Half of 2021
According to the Czech Minister of Health Jan Blatný, some 5.5 million Czechs will be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the first six months of 2021. On Friday, parliament approved a government bill on coronavirus vaccines allowing voluntary vaccination against Covid-19 to be covered by public health insurance, and also outlining possible compensation for any damage caused by vaccination. Photo credit: Freepik/ For illustrative purposes.
Czech Rep., Dec 4 (BD) – According to Blatný, older people, people with other diseases and emergency medical staff will be vaccinated first. The Ministry of Health plans to utilize the backbone network of hospitals and general practitioners. A quick start at the beginning of the year should not be expected, as vaccines will initially be scarce, Blatný explained.
Vaccination against Covid-19 will be “voluntary and free”, according to the Ministry of Health. Vaccination is planned for over 5.5 million people, or 60-70% of the total Czech population of 10.7 million (according to June 2020 data from the Czech Statistical Office), and will be carried out from the beginning of 2021 until the summer.
78 of the 97 MPs present voted in favour of today’s vaccination law. Deputies from STAN, SPD, and non-partisan MPs voted against the bill. SPD wanted an amendment to guarantee that those who do not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 will not face any disadvantages. The bill will now pass to the Senate for approval.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš also confirmed that the Czech vaccination strategy is nearing its completion and the government will discuss it on Monday, December 7th. “I also asked the minister to provide the strategy to all parliamentary parties so that they have the opportunity to comment,” Babiš said on Thursday. Quoted by Czech media outlet Seznam.cz, Babiš also repeated that vaccination will not be compulsory and that there will be no “vaccination passport”.
A large-scale voluntary antigen testing program is scheduled to begin in the Czech Republic on December 18th.