As flu seasons approaches, Czechia will reimburse RSV vaccines for at-risk groups

Health insurance companies will offer up to CZK 2,000 for the vaccine, which costs about CZK 5,000 per dose.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 04.09.2023 10:35:00 (updated on 04.09.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

As the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) poses a threat to older adults and pregnant women, Czech health officials have approved the country's first vaccine against the respiratory illness. People aged 60 and older as well as women in the last three months of pregnancy are eligible for the new RSV vaccine, which costs CZK 5,000 per dose.

Partial compensation

To help increase vaccination rates among at-risk groups, Czech health insurance companies will now partially reimburse patients for the vaccine's cost. Representatives of the insurance firms announced they will provide up to CZK 2,000 in compensation to individuals who receive the RSV shot and submit proof of vaccination.

RSV is a common virus that usually causes mild cold-like symptoms but can be serious in the case of infants and older adults. It infects the lungs and breathing passages, resulting in infections like bronchitis.

Doctors see seasonal RSV outbreaks in the fall and winter months, often preceding annual flu season epidemics. Last autumn and winter, the Czech Republic and other European countries struggled with an unusually strong RSV surge that infected babies and young children and overwhelmed pediatric hospitals.

Health experts hope the new vaccine, along with partial insurance coverage, will help boost protection against RSV among vulnerable seniors and expectant mothers ahead of the virus's anticipated seasonal resurgence later this year. More widespread vaccination could help curb severe cases requiring hospitalization.

Full details on how to apply for reimbursement can be found on the official VZP website.

Application online or in-person

To qualify for a reimbursement, people need to complete an application that can be made online. Proof of payment is not required for vaccination bonuses; the date of vaccine application is the determining factor. Therefore, attaching a copy of the vaccination certificate or a sworn statement to the application is sufficient.

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Previously, out of the seven health insurance companies in the Czech Republic, VZP was the only one that did not offer a contribution for RSV vaccination through its bonus programs. However, the conditions for receiving the subsidy for the RSV vaccine have been adjusted to allow individuals who have already utilized a subsidy for other vaccinations this year, such as influenza, encephalitis, or meningococcal, to also apply for it.

In contrast, other health insurance companies typically have bonus programs that allow for a contribution to be claimed for any non-reimbursed vaccination, including new products on the market.

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