Coronavirus update, Aug. 4, 2021: Czech study says seniors may need third shot of Covid vaccine

Plus: Prague Congress Center now takes walk-ins, voting from quarantine signed into law, Zeman pushes for antibodies to be recognized.

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Written by Expats.cz
Published on 04.08.2021 09:37 (updated on 04.08.2021)

 Study: Most seniors lack antibodies six months after vaccination

After half a year of coronavirus vaccination, according to preliminary results, up to 60 percent of seniors have significantly lower or no antibodies, according to the organization Podané ruce, which performed the analysis on more than 620 seniors. According to the organization, revaccination with the third dose will soon be necessary for vulnerable groups and it will be necessary to increase the capacity of preventive testing of workers and clients of social services. From June 30 to July 2, the company tested blood samples of 627 seniors for antibodies. Of the seniors who took part in the measurement, 396 were under 75, and 231 were older. They were most often vaccinated with Pfizer, but all types of vaccines are included in the survey, both two-dose and single-dose. The results of the analysis show that the level of antibodies decreases with time from vaccination and with age. Seniors who had covid-19 have higher antibody levels than those who have not had the disease.

Prague Congress Center now takes walk-ins for vaccination

The Metropolitan Vaccination Center in the Prague Congress Center in Vyšehrad now offers walk-in vaccination without the need to register in advance for all persons over 12 years of age. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is used. The service is currently not intended for self-payers, as the Ministry of Health has not yet given its consent to Prague. At the entrance to the vaccination center, all information and navigation signs are prepared. At the same time, the staff of the vaccination center will classify incoming applicants into registered and unregistered ones, for whom one or two counters will be set aside and they will subsequently be vaccinated according to the currently available capacity. In addition, a mobile application will soon be available, where after scanning the QR code, the unregistered could do a "self-check in" without the assistance of staff, which would shorten the whole process by about 10 minutes. 

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Vaccination bus handles 200 people on first weekend

The vaccination bus run by Prague City Hall saw great interest in its first outing. It was located at the Prague Zo over the weekend, and 105 people were vaccinated there on Saturday alone, with another 74 added on Sunday. Current bus stops and more information are available online. "At the Prague Zoo, our vaccine bus recorded its first successes and met all our expectations. Almost 200 people, including children, were vaccinated at the weekend. The main mission of the vaccination bus is primarily to spread awareness, and volunteers from the Czech Red Cross are helping us with that,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said.

A nurse demonstrates vaccination on the city's vaccination bus. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)
A nurse demonstrates vaccination on the city's vaccination bus. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)

Voting from quarantine approved

President Miloš Zeman signed the bill to enable voting from quarantine, which was also applied during the regional and Senate elections last autumn amid the surging Covid-19 epidemic. The law offers three voting options for people in quarantine or isolation. Along with drive-in voting and the use of portable ballot boxes, the people in quarantine may be visited by specially equipped election officials. It is also possible to vote in a closed accommodation facility.

Okamura, Zeman: Antibodies should prove non-infectious status

Czech President Miloš Zeman and Freedom and Direct Democracy movement leader Tomio Okamura agreed that antibodies against coronavirus should be recognized as a proof that a person is non-infectious, Okamura told journalists. He said the report on antibodies should have the same use as the certificate that a person has been vaccinated or underwent Covid-19. Okamura said he asked Zeman to call on Health Minister Adam Vojtěch and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to recognize the antibodies. Confirmed positive antibodies are recognized as a certificate in Austria, but other countries do not accept them as a confirmation of a lack of infection. being non-infectious. Babiš said on Sunday that he wanted to deal with the antibodies. He noted that experts have different stances on the issue.

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Hygiene office won’t say who was first infected on Tokyo flight

The Prague Hygiene Station refused to either confirm or deny news server SeznamZpravy's information that Covid infection was spread aboard the Czech mid-July flight to the Olympic Games by physician Vlastimil Voráček, who was the first Czech to test positive on arrival in Tokyo. The authority's spokesman, Zbyněk Boublík, told a press conference that the law bars the authority from commenting on personal data. Earlier yesterday, Daily Deník N wrote, citing Prague Hygiene head Zdeňka Jágrová, that the "patient zero," from whom the others caught the virus, was Voráček. Speaking to media later in the afternoon, the authority called this untrue information and asked for a correction. A part of the inquiry into the circumstances of the flight organized by the Czech Olympic Committee (ČOV) was released by the public health officers on Monday. They found out that one of the six Czechs who showed Covid infection on arrival in Tokyo had three coronavirus-infected close contacts back in the Czech Republic. Jágrová said it is impossible to say for sure if all the positive-testing athletes and other members of the Czech Olympic team got infected by one and the same person.

Lockdown prison verdict for thief may be mitigated

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The Constitutional Court complied with a complaint filed by the perpetrator of a theft committed during the state of emergency. He was given 28 months in prison before the Supreme Court (NS) panel mitigated the rules for imposing prison sentences. The NS ruled that stiff punishment should only be imposed if the theft is connected with the pandemic threat. However, the NS was dealing with his case at the time the courts were meting out stiff prison sentences for virtually all thefts during the state of emergency. Now the NS must decide on his appeal. The repeat offender stole electric razor parts in a supermarket in the Plzeň area last May.

All indicator numbers improving

The number of new Covid cases reported for Tuesday was at 237, down slightly from 253 reported last week. There are currently 43 people hospitalized with Covid, with 10 in serious condition, down from 40 and 11 the previous day. No deaths were reported, and there have been two deaths so far in August. The index number of new cases per 100,000 in seven days was at 10, down by one from the previous day. The reproduction number R dropped slightly to 0.90, And has been under 1.0 since July 19. In Prague, the index number was at 20 and the R number was at 0.83. In the Plzeň region, where the pandemic is worst, the index number was 27 and the R number was 0.88.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Aug. 4, 2021)

  • New cases 237
  • Deaths 30 372
  • Currently hospitalized 43
  • PCR tests performed 9,116,329
  • Antigen tests performed 24,219,966
  • Total vaccinations 10,470,129
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 49,364
  • People who have completed vaccination 4,930,536
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 10
  • PES index 26
  • R number 0.90
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