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The Ministry of Health is working to open registration for vaccination to self-payers, an option that would help foreigners living in the Czech Republic. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.

Czech Rep., May 14 (BD) – At the end of May, vaccination could be opened in the Czech Republic to self-payers. This option could be particularly useful for those foreigners in the Czech Republic who for various reasons do not have public health insurance, which is currently the only possible key to the vaccine.

According to the Ministry of Health, foreign nationals who are entitled to necessary care in the Czech Republic via the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are already entitled to vaccination. However, residents with commercial health insurance cannot currently register for vaccination.

“Negotiations are underway to enable the vaccination of diplomats, ambassadors, embassy staff who are not citizens of the Czech Republic, and employees of international organizations who do not belong to any of the above groups. We are looking for ways to provide vaccinations to foreigners from third countries who have a long-term residence in the Czech Republic, are not participants in the public health insurance system, and have compulsory commercial insurance,” said the ministry.

The key question about the cost of vaccinations does not yet have a clear answer. The Ministry is negotiating the price of one dose of vaccine, which shall not exceed a set threshold. According to material leaked in December, the price of vaccines varies significantly, from about CKZ 50 for the AstraZeneca vaccine, to over CZK 300 for Pfizer, to just under CZK 400 for Moderna.

According to the Act on the Residence of Foreigners, tens of thousands of people who do not have public health insurance for various reasons must pay for commercial health insurance, which often does not cover some necessary medical procedures, said Magda Faltová, director of the Association for Migration and Integration. 

“More accurate data is difficult to find, as insurance companies do not publish data, and we only get data on the type of stay,” said Faltová. She added that the type of stay does not correspond to the number of people with commercial insurance.

On Tuesday, the Mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates), drew attention to the problem on Twitter, arguing that if foreigners are excluded from the vaccination system, the protection of the population will not be assured.

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