Coronavirus vaccination has officially rolled out in the Czech Republic, with an initial amount of 9,750 vaccines getting deployed on December 27. The first doses went to high priority recipients like paramedics and health care workers treating those with COVID-19.
As a show of encouragement for anyone skeptical, prime minister Andrej Babiš took the jab on camera in Prague, after saying a few words to the country.
“This year has certainly been the worst in our modern history. An awful lot of our fellow citizens died from COVID-19, it had a profound effect on our lives and this vaccine that just came from the EU yesterday is hope that we will return to normal life.”
Getting the vaccine alongside the prime minister was 95-year-old war veteran Emilie Řepíková who fought in the battle of Dukla Pass in WW2. Řepíková said the vaccine hurt a little but “otherwise felt nothing.” The prime minister also said he had no side effects.
In Brno, health minister Jan Blatný received the vaccine at the University Hospital of Brno, before insisting that the only way for us to see our loved ones again was to take the vaccine.
“This vaccine is safe and effective. It arrived at Christmas, and that’s no coincidence. Please everyone, just get vaccinated. Only then will we be able to meet our loved ones again without restrictions.”
Prime minister Babiš said that there was a plan for some sort of “campaign” in the works to motivate Czechs into getting vaccinated, but it’s not yet clear what that campaign will look like.
Currently, the Czech Republic has the capacity to store at least two million doses of the vaccines in industrial freezers for up to six months. In the meantime, bulk deliveries of vaccines will be arriving in the country’s various vaccination centers, including the South Moravia, Pardubice, South Bohemia, and Central Bohemia regions.