Friday, 4 December 2020

Czech vaccine for Covid-19: Where do we stand?

Prague Daily Monitor |
20 November 2020

Even though the Czech vaccine against COVID-19 already ended its first-phase trials, Jan Blatný, the new Minister of Health, does not seem eager to green light the continuation of the project.

The National Institute of Public Health, the Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion and the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine have all joined efforts to create the anti-COVID vaccine in Czechia. After completing the first trials on animals, they must await the decision of the minister regarding the project.

"I am really proud that … even such a small country as us can successfully get involved in solving today's problems. We fulfilled the specified first stage and submitted the report," Věra Adámková, a doctor and MP for the ANO movement told iROZHLAS.cz.

However, it seems like the vaccine will not be allowed to proceed to clinical trials – at least, not in the nearest future.

"Given that 'commercial' vaccines will soon be available on the market, there is now no urgent need to continue the development," said Barbora Peterová, a spokeswoman for the ministry, iROZHLAS.cz reports.

Four million CZK were already invested in the development of the vaccine with the original plan of 15 million CZK according to Adámková. At this stage, the Czech Republic will focus on signing deals with the companies and ordering the soon-to-be approved vaccines.

As of now, the Czech Republic signed a few deals with different manufacturers. As such, they signed a deal for two million doses of the vaccine made through the Pfizer/BioNtech joined efforts. In addition to that, they ordered three million doses of the vaccine from a British-Swedish company AstraZeneca.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced earlier this week that their vaccine is as much as 95% effective. No serious safety concerns were detected throughout trials. The manufacturers expect the vaccine to be approved by the US and EU regulators this December. The application for approval should be submitted in the upcoming days.