Coronavirus update, May 12, 2021: One-quarter of Czechs have at least one jab, one-tenth have both

The Czech Republic is slightly behind the EU total of 27 percent of people having at least one vaccination shot.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 12.05.2021 09:38 (updated on 12.05.2021)

One-quarter of population has at least one dose of vaccine

About 10 percent of the 10.7-million population of the country have had the Covid vaccination completed, and 25.1 percent have gotten at least one dose, Health Ministry data shows. This is a little behind the EU total of 27 percent of the population having at least the first dose of coronavirus vaccine. Vaccination against the novel coronavirus started in the Czech Republic in late December. Since Easter, one age group has been able to start registering every week, with a five-year difference between the groups. Since then, there have been around 700,000 registered people waiting for slots or the first dose. On Monday, 374,000 were waiting for time slots and 334,000 for the first dose application. Almost 5 million people so far have the right to get vaccinated thanks to their age.

Over 120,000 people aged 45 to 49 register for vaccination

Over 120,000 people aged between 45 and 49 registered for the vaccination against Covid-19 in the Czech Republic in the first 12 hours since the system was opened to them at midnight, representatives of the Smart Quarantine project, administering the registration system, tweeted. Prime Minster Andrej Babiš earlier tweeted the 41,600 had registered in the first eight hours. Over 700,000 out of the 839,000 people in this age group have not been vaccinated yet. Some 131,700 of them received at least one vaccine dose by Sunday within some priority group. Next week, the registration may be launched for those aged 40 to 44 years, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said on Monday. Then the registration system is to open to all over 16 years.

Schools to test for Covid less frequently as of May 17

Czech schools testing their children for Covid-19 with PCR tests will test them once in two weeks instead of one test a week, while state antigen tests will have to be used once a week, the Education Ministry wrote in its guidelines sent to schools yesterday. However, there will be some exceptions concerning the regions will a less favorable epidemic situation. For instance, in seven regions with the worst situation, the sixth to ninth grades of elementary schools will stick to the current two antigen testing a week. General rules applied in schools will be newly modified, too. For example, the ban on children meeting in school with other pupils except for their classmates will be lifted, the ministry added.

Prague Mayor wants to tackle uninsured foreigners' vaccination

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib called on the Health Ministry on Twitter today to deal with the Covid vaccination of the foreigners without health insurance in the Czech Republic. Currently, only people with public health insurance can get vaccinated in the country, including foreigners with permanent residence and foreign employees. Hřib argued that if uninsured foreigners, primarily in Prague, were eliminated from the vaccination system, the population protection would not be secured. See our full story here.

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Czech Republic saw record high monthly death rate in March

Roughly 16,600 people died in the Czech Republic in March, the record high monthly figure since these data started being monitored in 1947, but the death rate in the elderly over 85 dropped markedly as against its average values, the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) reported. The March figure exceeded by 530 the previous record from January. As for the Covid related fatalities, March 2021 with 5,967 deaths was the most tragic month, the Health Ministry said. Compared to the five-year average, the March figure is 61 percent higher. There were 155 fatalities per 100,000 population in March, while between 2015 and 2019, statisticians reported on average 97 fatalities per 100,000 people per month. The excess mortality in people 85 and older sharply declined as against last autumn, which might be thanks to the vaccination against Covid-19.

Court annuls measure on Covid testing at work

The Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) annulled a Health Ministry measure requiring employees and self-employed persons testing positive for Covid to see a doctor, leave work, and get a confirmatory PCR test. According to the court, it showed gross deficiencies in the reasoning. The court postponed the effectiveness of the verdict by four days, so the ministry had time to issue a possible new measure. Health Ministry spokeswoman Jana Schillerová told ČTK that the office would follow the court requirements. The new NSS decision is based on the judgment of April 14, when the court ruled that a previous similar measure was illegal. In a new ruling, the judges criticized the ministry for shortening the justification for the new measure, instead of making it more precise.

Interest in Covid vaccination stagnating

Some 64 percent of Czechs were interested in Covid vaccination at the beginning of May, the figure remaining almost the same as in April, according to a poll conducted by the PAQ Research. The interest is considerably lower among young Czechs with low education, the poor and residents of small towns. Czechs are also less cautious when it comes to the infection as they are more reluctant to observe the lockdown rules, but they are tested more. The number of personal contacts without a face mask is now the highest this year, but still lower than last November and December. Czechs are also returning to routine work, with full home office being used by about 13 percent. At the end of April and at the start of May, almost 80 percent of the respondents at least partially worked routinely.

Vaccination pace continues to accelerate

The coronavirus epidemic in the Czech Republic continues to slow down, while the rate of vaccination against covid-19 is accelerating. On Tuesday, laboratories confirmed 1,673 new cases of the infection, about 740 fewer than a week ago. Some 77,615 people were vaccinated against Covid-19, about 5,500 more than the previous Tuesday, compared to Monday, there were almost 2,000 more vaccinations, according to the Ministry of Health. The pace of vaccination has accelerated and since last week it has remained above 70,000 vaccinated per day on weekdays. The reproduction number indicating how many other people on average infect one positive test has fallen slightly today from the previous 0.81 to 0.79. It has been below the break-even value of one, which means a slowdown in the epidemic, since mid-April.

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

  • New cases 1,673
  • Deaths 29,787
  • Currently hospitalized 1,796
  • PCR tests performed 6,937,202
  • Antigen tests performed 13,592,627
  • Total vaccinations 3,815,128
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 77,615
  • People with both doses 1,076,695
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 88
  • PES index 40
  • R number 0.79
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