AstraZeneca vaccine should be available in the Czech Republic in 2-3 weeks

The newly-approved vaccine may eventually be available to general practitioners across the Czech Republic

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 31.01.2021 16:58 (updated on 31.01.2021)

The first deliveries of the vaccine from AstraZeneca may reach the Czech Republic in two to three weeks, Health Minister Jan Blatný has told journalists. The vaccine was recommended by the European Medicines Agency and later approved by the European Commission on Friday.

Blatný did not elaborate on the quantity of the vaccine that would arrive in the Czech Republic with the first delivery.

Since this vaccine can be stored and transported at refrigerator-level temperatures, general practitioners may take part in distributing the vaccine more easily. Current vaccines, which need to be stored at much lower temperatures, are largely administered by hospitals.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is the third to be approved for use in the EU after those from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

The vaccine from AstraZeneca has been recommended for people over the age of 18. It is applied in the muscle of the upper arm in two doses, with an interval of four to 12 weeks between them.

According to two clinical studies which were evaluated by the EMA, the AstraZeneca vaccine has an efficiency of about 60 percent. The other two registered vaccines have an efficiency of around 95 percent.

"Compared with the [other] registered vaccines, this one may seem to be less efficient in the prevention of COVID-19, but it prevents the development of the serious illness COVID-19," said Irena Storová, director of the State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL).

"I believe the data on its efficiency have yet to be updated,"

Most of the participants in the clinical studies were aged 18-55, Storová said.

There have not been sufficient results for those over 55 in order to say exactly how effective the vaccine will be for this group, she added.