Coronavirus update, June 14, 2021: Children 12 and up in the Czech Republic could be vaccinated in September

Plus: Babiš says up to 2,000 and 5,000 may attend indoor, outdoor cultural events, EMA official says AstraZeneca shouldn't be used for people over 60. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 14.06.2021 09:11:00 (updated on 14.06.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

 Vojtech: Children aged 12 and over could be vaccinated in September

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine could be available for children aged 12 and over from September, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said. People aged 16 and older can now register for vaccination against Covid-19. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in his  video on social media on Sunday that the vaccination of children over 12 should start in late July.

"We don't have a date for the vaccination of the 12 plus group yet. We have to serve all those waiting in the 16 plus queue, and it will also depend on the supply of vaccines as we have not yet confirmed the supply from Pfizer for July," Vojtech said.

According to Vojtěch, there are roughly 400,000 to 500,000 people in the group between the ages of 12 and 16. "Pfizer's vaccine is the only one for these children so far, and it will be administered [to people 16 and older] until the end of the summer in these high-capacity centers. From September, we expect it to be available to GPs for children and adolescents, and now a distributor is competing to provide it," Vojtěch said. The Moderna vaccine is now going through the registration process for the group of children aged 12 and over, and GPs are already receiving it. If approved for this age group, practitioners could be vaccinating with it before the end of the holiday season.

Outdoor venues no longer have to leave empty seats

Outdoor venues as of June 14 will no longer have to leave half the seats empty, but can only have up tto 2,000 people in total. Standing tickets to outdoor events can be sold again as of June 14 on condition there are at least four square meters per person. The half-capacity rule still applied to indoor events, and there is a maximum of 1,000 people. All visitors to cultural events must still wear face masks or respirators.

Babiš: Up to 2,000 and 5,000 may attend indoor, outdoor cultural events

The maximum attendance at cultural events may be raised to 2,000 indoors and 5,000 outdoors in the Czech Republic as of July 1 with certain anti-epidemic measures observed, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in his Sunday evening video on social media. The conditions for coronavirus testing for cultural events are the same as those applied to restaurants and people may drink and eat at cultural events, for instance, at the theater and cinema bars, but is not yet allowed to eat or drink in the auditorium.

Teaching without respirators may be possible in all regions

Schoolchildren and teachers in the Liberec, Zlín and South Bohemia regions will probably not have to wear respirators when teaching in classrooms, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said. The government will decide on this on Monday. The obligation to wear respirators during classes has not applied from last Tuesday in the Czech Republic, except for the three regions mentioned above.

"It will probably happen [Monday] that we will abolish this obligation in these regions as well, because in all these regions the situation is improving," Vojtěch said.

Zlín, South Bohemia and Liberec were the only regions where the so-called incidence rate, the number of infected people per 100,000 inhabitants, was above 30. Now the figure is below 25. Vojtěch said that if Monday's data show that the downward trend continues, pupils in the remaining three regions will not have to wear respirators from Tuesday as well. Students and teachers still must wear the nose and mouth covers during breaks and in common premises, such as corridors and restrooms, at schools.

EMA official suggest stopping AstraZeneca for those over-60

The AstraZeneca vaccine should not be given to people over 60, the head of the EU drug regulator’s Covid-19 task force, Marco Cavaleri. told Italian newspaper La Stampa. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) considers the vaccine safe for all ages but several European Union member states no longer give it to younger people under 60 due to the possibility of blood clots. While the EMA maintains the benefits of AstraZeneca outweigh the risks, Cavaleri said it would be better to use Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, made using different technology. These have become more widely available now that the pandemic is receding and many people are already vaccinated.  

Lowest number of new cases since last June

There were only 42 newly confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Sunday in the Czech Republic, the lowest daily increase in almost the entire past year. The same number of new cases was last recorded June 20, 2020, which was Saturday, according to Health Ministry data. Hospitals have seen their capacities gradually unburdened. At the beginning of May, 26 percent of hospital beds with ventilators remained vacant, compared with 33 percent at present. The reproduction number R, which shows the average number of people who contract Covid-19 from one infected person, stagnated at 0.7 this morning, the same level as on Sunday. It has oscillated around 0.7 to 0.8 since the beginning of May.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (June 14, 2021)

  • New cases 42
  • Deaths 30,226
  • Currently hospitalized 152
  • PCR tests performed 7,580,177
  • Antigen tests performed 19,275,427
  • Total vaccinations 6,543,437
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 40,309
  • People who have completed vaccination 2,071,962
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 13
  • PES index 26
  • R number 0.70
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