Three-Phase Vaccination Strategy Underway in the Czech Republic

The vaccination strategy of the Czech Republic will be implemented in three phases between now and June 2022. The first 10,000 doses arrived in December, and further consignments will be delivered to regional vaccination centres each Thursday. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.

Czech Rep., Jan 4 (BD) – In December, the Czech government released its Covid-19 vaccination strategy, which aims to vaccinate 65% of the population of 10.7 million (according to June 2020 data from the Czech Statistical Office). Over 30 vaccination centres are being established across the country to facilitate the rapid distribution of vaccines against coronavirus. 

The first doses of Covid-19 vaccines arrived in the Czech Republic on December 26th and were divided between hospitals in Prague and Brno. Vaccinations of priority patients have been underway since this delivery. According to the vaccination strategy, the first consignments of vaccines in regional vaccination centres will be delivered this Thursday, January 7th, and will continue to be delivered each Thursday. 

The distribution, storage and application of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines will be overseen by vaccination coordinators, appointed in each of the 14 regions, who will work in cooperation with manufacturers, the Ministry of Health and health insurance companies. 

The vaccination strategy will be carried out in three stages. The first phase, during January and February, is a ‘Targeted Centralised Vaccination’ which is not open to the public, but focuses on delivering the vaccine to priority groups. Priority is given to those with a high-risk of infection or with a serious illness, including hospitalized patients over 65 years of age. Emergency workers, frontline medical staff and social care workers are also first in line to receive vaccinations. 

The second stage is the ‘Centralised Vaccination’ which will run from February to April. During this stage, vaccination of first phase priority groups will continue and gradually, members of the public will be able to register for vaccination in the regional centres. An online registration portal will be launched on January 15th, giving priority to at-risk, vulnerable groups according to data provided by the applicant during registration. Preliminary registration will initially only be accessible to those aged over 80 years old and will open to the wider public in February. 

The third stage, ‘Decentralised Vaccination’, will run from March/April until June 2022. By this time, the Czech government hopes to be receiving vaccines from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Curevac and possibly Sanofi, however, none of these vaccines have been approved by the EU yet. Excluding Curevac, the storage requirements for these vaccines will allow them to be administered by general practitioners. The government anticipates that GPs can provide vaccines to 10 people per day, which equates to 50,000 patients across the nation. 

Individuals with legal residence and health insurance in the Czech Republic are eligible for vaccination. Children will not be vaccinated. 

According to the vaccination strategy, a central register of those who have been vaccinated will be created – this will at some point be included in an EU-wide system and may have implications for travel purposes.

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