Coronavirus update, July 12, 2021: Get vaccinated, win a prize – walk-in centers will have incentive raffle

Plus: R number hits highest level since October, Babiš will propose shorter Pfizer interval, Vojtěch calls for more inspections of certificates.

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Written by Expats.cz
Published on 12.07.2021 09:57 (updated on 12.07.2021)

New walk-in vaccination centers in Prague will offer prize raffle

Two vaccination centers will open in Prague today, where people can come for the vaccine without prior registration. At Prague’s main train station Hlavní nádraží, people can receive the single dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. At the shopping mall OC Chodov, people can receive the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech. Both centers will operate every day, at the train station from noon to 7 pm, in the shopping center from 10 am to 8 pm on weekdays, until 7 pm on weekends. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Sunday that those vaccinated in these centers could take part in a prize draw. Once a week, they can get an iPhone 12 mobile phone, Converse sneakers, or vouchers for the Steam gaming platform. See our full story here.

Babiš to propose shorter interval for Pfizer vaccine

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will propose the shortening of the interval between the first and second dose of the vaccine Pfizer/BioNTech to 21 days to the Government Council for Health Risks on Monday, he said in a video posted on social networks. The change will take effect among newly registered people on July 15. Currently, the vaccine can be administered after 34 days, while before, this was after 38–42 days. When it comes to the vaccine from Moderna, the interval between the first and second doses was also shortened, now being 25-35 days.

Vojtěch: People will pay for travel tests in the autumn

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said that people can’t count on health insurance covering Covid 19 tests in the long run "I'm not saying it will be tomorrow, I think, it will be maybe sometime in autumn," Vojtěch said.

"I'm not entirely sure that [insurance] should pay for … tests where a person decides to travel to some country. There, I think that this is not entirely appropriate, and it is not a thing that should be covered by public health insurance in the long run. It has nothing to do with healthcare," Vojtěch said.

In Parliament, Vojtěch stated that in the autumn the population could be so vaccinated that the paid tests would by only covered if a person has symptoms of Covid-19, was in contact with someone who has symptoms, or a hygienic station sends him for a test.

Vojtěch calls for more inspections of certificates, hopes to avoid new restrictions

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Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said if the pace of the spread of the pandemic accelerates significantly, the number of participants allowed at events could be reduced, but due to court rulings options for restrictions are limited.

"We will definitely try to prevent any mass closure of events or closure of companies. In fact, even according to the current legislation or case law, this is not possible if a state of emergency is not declared, but the situation would have to be very aggravated in order to declare a state of emergency," Vojtěch told Czech Radio.

The more contagious Delta variant is spreading in the age category 17 to 21. Vojtěch wants more inspections of Covid certificates in clubs. He will ask the hygienists and the police for them. Vojtěch does not count on regional restrictions yet. "We had a system of relaxation, then the court came, he said that we have to dismantle now, so we dismantled, so we have to move in this new environment, which is different than it was a year ago, when we had a traffic light. So there are not many possibilities that we can do in terms of any restrictive measures," Vojtěch said.

Babiš asking Hungary for another 200,000 Covid doses

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Prime Minister Andrej Babiš asked Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó to lend another 200,000 doses of Covid vaccines to the Czech Republic, Babiš told journalists after a meeting of Visegrad Four prime ministers on July 9. Previously, Hungary lent 140,000 doses to the Czech Republic. Szijjártó has twice passed the vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, in all 140,950 doses, to Babiš in Prague. The Czech Republic is to return them by the end of the year. In April, vaccines were promised to the Czech Republic by Slovenia, Austria and Hungary. The Government Office said along with routine deliveries of the vaccines based on agreements concluded with manufacturers through the EU, the Czech Republic has also gained at least 300,000 doses. Slovenia and Austria have lent them, while Israel, Serbia and Slovakia have donated them. See our full story here.

Over 13 percent of children aged 12–15 registered in vaccination

About 13.2 percent of Czech children aged 12–15 have shown interest in Covid vaccination over the 10 days since their registration started, according to the data released by the Health Ministry. In all, about 60,400 have been registered and the vaccine has been administered to about 11,500 (2.5 percent). Of them, 83 have complete vaccination by two doses. In total, the age group comprises over 450,000 children. The Health and Education ministries have said that fully inoculated children will not have to undergo the coronavirus test at the start of the school year. Along with the inoculated, the tests will not be mandatory for the children who underwent the infection in the past six months. At the end of June, the government approved the decision that those who will refuse the test will have to wear a face mask or respirator all the time while in school. See our full story here.

Vaccination certificates on Tečka app turned red for 1.75 million

The Tečka app is intended to allow people to easily view their vaccination or test certificates. However, on Friday, due to the new regulations, the vaccination certificates turned from green to red 1.75 million people who were already 22 days or more after the first dose, but not two weeks after their second dose for the vaccines that require two doses. The rules for when vaccination would be considered effective changed due to the Delta variant. As of July 9, some 884,000 people had downloaded the Tečka application.  

 R number hits highest level since October

There were 147 confirmed cases of Covid on Sunday, some 41 more than a week ago. The number of newly infected in the week-on-week comparison has risen for five days in a row. The reproduction number showing the spread of the epidemic increased from 1.35 to 1.46, the highest since mid-October, according to Health Ministry date. There are a total of 25 people in the hospitals with Covid-19, two in serious condition. According to experts, the acceleration of the pandemic is due to the Delta variation, the loosening of anti-epidemic measures, and people's travel during the holidays. In the past seven days, there are about 13 infected people per 100,000 inhabitants in the Czech Republic, which is a slight increase compared to Sunday. The worst situation remains in Prague, where the incidence number is 35.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (July 12, 2021)

  • New cases 147
  • Deaths 30,311
  • Currently hospitalized 25
  • PCR tests performed 8,339,017
  • Antigen tests performed 22,520,123
  • Total vaccinations 8,966,562
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 29,715
  • People who have completed vaccination 3,830,283
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 13
  • PES index 50
  • R number 1.46
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