Coronavirus update, June 28, 2021: Covid vaccination interval to be reduced, says Czech PM

The number of people fully vaccinated now over 3 million, govt. to spend more on vaccination campaign as registrations drop. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 28.06.2021 09:45:00 (updated on 28.06.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

PM: Covid vaccination interval to be reduced

People will be allowed to get the second Covid vaccine dose already after 34 days after they received the first one, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš wrote on his social network profile, without specifying what vaccine is concerned by the modified schedule. The current intervals of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine range from 38 to 42 days. Babiš said those who want to speed up their inoculation can call 1221 coronavirus line. If there is considerably more vaccine doses in the Czech Republic, the original interval of 21 days between the two doses will be reintroduced, he added. As for the Moderna vaccine, the time between the application of the two doses should currently range from 25 to 35 days, the government coronavirus website indicates. Previously, it was extended to 38 up to 42 days. Until late March, the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was administered after 21 days, while the second Moderna jab came after 28 days. The interval of the AstraZeneca double-dose vaccine is up to 91 days.

Govt. to boost vaccination campaign

The Czech government is to approve on Monday extra CZK 50 million to boost the vaccination campaign.

"The problem is that fewer and fewer people register (for the vaccination)," Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said.

He added that only some 6,300 people applied for the inoculation on Saturday. Furthermore, thousands of Czechs went to the European Football Championship in Hungary over the weekend, which might pose an epidemic threat, experts say. Babiš said he cannot ban people from going there and he can only urge them to be cautious. The campaign promoting the inoculation is to get further financial resources and engage popular personalities, music bands. Furthermore, companies have to get involved more, Babiš added. "Delta is here, we are monitoring it, but we cannot say we are already off the hook," he said.

Senate head Miloš Vystrčil (Civic Democrats, ODS) said that the government support of the vaccination campaign must be systematic. In an interview on Prima TV, he added that reaching out to random music bands and firms is not a solid foundation of the PR campaign, it might be a good complement, though, Vystrčil said. He added that GPs might help a lot in convincing people to get vaccinated as their patients trust them.

Hungary to send 100,000 vaccine doses to Czech Republic

Hungary is to send further 100,000 Covid vaccine doses to the Czech Republic. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in a regular debate on Prima TV. This week, Babiš expects some 1.1 million vaccine doses to come and the government will discuss a further reinforcement of the vaccination campaign, he added. Babiš said that Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto will bring the vaccines on July 1. Hungary sent 41,000 Covid vaccine doses to the Czech Republic in June in reaction to a lowered vaccine supply after the Czech Republic expressed its disagreement with the allocation of extra 10 million vaccine doses within the EU. Babiš said inoculation is particularly important due to the new delta coronavirus mutation that has already occurred in the Czech Republic, too.

VAT abolition on respirators to be extended

The state will extend the abolition of value added tax (VAT) to respirators of category FFP2 and higher. The zero rate should probably apply throughout the summer holidays, Finance Minister Alena Schillerová said on Czech Television. It is mandatory to wear respirators during the summer. The government introduced a temporary abolition of the 21 percent tax in early February. It wanted to support the reduction of respirator prices during their mandatory introduction. Class FFP2 respirators, or higher or comparable levels, are currently mandatory in shops, public buildings and public transport vehicles. Schiller saidthat the proposal to extend the zero tax on respirators will be approved by the government at its meeting on Monday. I is not yet certain how long the extension will be.

"I expect the obligation to wear respirators in public places will continue," she said.

Some schools were closed for two-thirds of school year

Primary and secondary schools were closed one-fifth to two-thirds of the time in the ending school year due to the Covid-19 epidemic. The situation differed at different levels and types of schools. High school students spent the most time at home, 130 out of 191 days. On the other hand, the longest classes were open to disabled pupils in special schools, who could attend 153 days out of 191. Primary and secondary school students only had to study at a distance of 46 days, or about a quarter of the school year. More children were at home in the second half of the year, due to the March wave of the epidemic, according to analysis by ČTK.

Over 3 million people fully vaccinated

There were 57 new Covid cases reported on Sunday, which was the same number last week. There are currently 49 people hospitalized, according to Health Ministry data. No Covid-related deaths were reported on Sunday, bu that could still be updated. Deaths have been at two or less daily since June 18. The incidence number, or the number of confirmed cases of infection per 100 thousand inhabitants in the last seven days, remains at 7. The reproduction number R, showing how fast the virus is spreading, rose to 0.898, the highest it has been since April 15. It is still below 1.0, meaning the pandemic is receding. Medics gave 34,190 doses of the vaccine on Sunday, some 6,500 fewer than last week. Still, this was enough to push the number of fully vaccinated people over the 3 million mark with 2,903,878 having two doses of vaccine and 86,665 having the single-shot Janssen vaccine.  

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (June 28, 2021)

  • New cases 57
  • Deaths 30,298
  • Currently hospitalized 49
  • PCR tests performed 7,935,695
  • Antigen tests performed 20,971.011
  • Total vaccinations 7,890,961
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 34,190
  • People who have completed vaccination 3,014,409
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 7
  • PES index 32
  • R number 0.90
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