The Czech Republic may have enough vaccine doses to immunize up to 16 million people according to Jan Blatný, the Minister of Health. This way, there will be more doses of the vaccine available than the citizens living in the country (10,7 million people).
“The Czech Republic has committed to buying vaccines for about 5.5 million people for 1.8 billion CZK. Vaccines for up to another 10.6 million inhabitants for 4.5 billion CZK are in reserve from other manufacturers. We should have enough for up to 16 million people,” said Blatný, Novinky.cz reports.
Considering that most of the current vaccines require a two-shot immunization, the Czech Republic will stock 32 million doses. However, since children cannot be vaccinated with the vaccines which haven’t gone through long-term testing, the shots will be reserved for the adult population (about 8,5 million people).
Despite such ambitious plans, the recent researches show that only 49% of Czech citizens want to get vaccinated.
“It is probable that even if a high-quality vaccine is available, the number of people who get voluntarily vaccinated in Czechia will be rather low, which is not sufficient to develop herd immunity,” Dr. Jiří Černý, a virologist at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague said, The Telegraph reports.
As of now, the Czech Republic signed a deal for two million doses of the vaccine made through the Pfizer/BioNtech joined efforts, three million doses of the vaccine from a British-Swedish company AstraZeneca, and two million from the American Johnson & Johnson. Some of the other deals which are currently being negotiated are: a vaccine for 2.56 million people from Curevac, for 950,000 people from Moderna and for up to 3.5 million people from Novavax.
The national vaccination strategy will be discussed by the government by the 7th December. The talks will include deciding on who to distribute the vaccine to first.
“The vaccine is one of the clear steps to stop the spread of the epidemic,” Blatný said.
The vaccine should be covered by the public health insurance and available on a voluntary basis.