Coronavirus update, Sept. 10, 2021: Health Ministry announces details for third vaccine dose

Plus: Czech breakthrough can detect risk of serious Covid cases, KVIFF guests already getting fined, Czech Republic remains third-least affected in EU.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 10.09.2021 09:40 (updated on 10.09.2021)

Revaccination with third shot to start in late September

SMS messages will start to be sent on Sept. 20 to people that can get a booster shot of Covid vaccine. On this day the vaccination will also begin, the Czech Health Ministry told journalists. At first, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the messages would be already sent to cell phones as of Sept. 10. The third dose is to be administered to those for whom at least eight months has passed since their vaccination. The SMS messages will tell people they may register for the vaccination, either at their general practitioner or through the vaccination website. The ministry says people over 60 and patients with some associated diseases, especially those reducing immunity, should be inoculated again.

"On Monday Sept. 20, the SMS will be sent to about 8,000 people and by the end of September, there will be another 31,000 people who may receive the strengthening dose of the Covid vaccination," the Health Ministry said.

In the 10 days to come, there will be only a pilot operation of the messages. If people want to be inoculated by the general practitioners, they should contact them and agree on the time slot. The reinforcing doses will only be the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. They will be also given to those who were inoculated with Astra Zeneca or Johnson & Johnson.

Hospitals already seeing interest in third dose

Hospital staff have been surprised by the enormous interest in the third dose of Covid-19 vaccine, according to news server iDnes.cz. Doctors already have to handle dozens of calls a day with questions from patients about whether they can arrive for the jab. However, in order to comply with the eight-month period from the first vaccination, most establishments will start at the end of September at the earliest. People interested in the third dose have been bombarding hospitals and practitioners since the beginning of the month with phone calls and questions about whether they can come to be revaccinated. Hospital staff say they are still waiting for guidelines from the Health Ministry.

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Czechs develop method detecting serious Covid course risk

Czech scientists from Charles University's First Medical Faculty have developed a diagnostic method to detect whether a person is threatened with a severe course of Covid-19. The method is applied as part of the PCR test for Covid. It assesses the risk based on the patient's level of a certain biomarker. The university firm GeneSpector Innovations has applied for a patent for the new method, which may start to be used in practice soon. The method's co-creator, Stanislav Kmoch, said experts had used previous research results to identify the "candidate biomarker." Kmoch said the research showed people who had a low level of the given biomarker went through the disease without big troubles, while those with a high level had a worse, or even a severe course of the disease.

Karlovy Vary festival guests already getting fined

Hygienists have already handed out fines to some people who did not wear a respirator or nanomask at the Aug. 20 opening of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Karlovy Vary hygiene spokeswoman Michaela Zajíčková told Czech Television the investigation and identification of other people continues. Photos of the opening in the Great Hall of Hotel Thermal showed most of the audience did not have face coverings. Guests face a fine of up to CZK 10,000, though the usual amount is between CZK 500 and CZK 3,000. Epidemiologist Rastislav Maďar pointed out the violation of the regulation on Twitter and shared the photo that started the investigation..

Vojtěch: No mandatory vaccination for health professionals

The Health Ministry of does not yet envisage introducing compulsory vaccination for some professions, such as health professionals, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said during his visit to Ostrava on Thursday. According to him, this is a very sensitive topic. "This is, of course, a big debate that is taking place not only in our country, but also in other countries, that is setting the vaccination obligation for certain services such as health or social services. It's not on the agenda yet," he said. He added there must be some broader debate as it is one thing to set such an obligation, but how it will actually be put into practice is something else. However, he reiterated that vaccination is the only alternative to cope with a pandemic.

Mental illness increased due to Covid

Ostrava psychiatrist Stanislav Ostatník said the incidence of mental illness in the Czech Republic increased by 30 percent this year compared to the period before the coronavirus pandemic. Compared to the first wave of the pandemic, the incidence of anxiety in adult Czechs doubled and the incidence of depression and the risk of suicide increased by even three times. Problems are mainly faced by women and young people who feel increased stress as well as loneliness and anger, he said. He reminded people that Friday is World Suicide Prevention Day. Children are a very vulnerable group because they have been at home for a long time, without friends. Children are increasingly suffering from anxiety, depression, social phobia, and self-harm. The elderly think more often of suicide.

Czech Republic remains third-least affected by Covid in EU

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According to the number of coronavirus infections in the last 14 days, the worst situation from EU countries is still in Ireland, with 434 cases per 100,000 population, down from 504 cases a week ago. The second-most affected country is now Greece, where 380 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 population have been reported in the last 14 days. A week ago it had 412 cases. The third most affected country is Estonia, with 367 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. A week ago it was in fifth place, with 334 cases. In the Czech Republic, the number of cases is growing slightly, with 29 cases, up from 25 weeks ago. It remains the third-least affected EU country, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Hospitalizations back over 100

Another 421 Covid cases were reported for Thursday, 44 more than on Wednesday and 116 more than a week ago. Hospitalizations rose to 109 Covid hospitalized, up from 65 a week ago and 99 on Wednesday. There were 13 serious cases, down from 15 a day earlier. It is the first time that over 100 people have been hospitalized since June 18. No deaths were reported, and the September toll is six. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 over the past seven days rose to 23, up form 22 a day earlier and 14 a week ago. The reproduction number R rose slightly to 1.44. On Thursday, another 13,957 people received vaccine doses, about 5,000 fewer than a week ago. In the Karlovy Vary region, which is worst hit, the incidence number was 43, up from 42 a day earlier and the R number was 1.31. In Prague, the incidence number was 40, up from 38. the R number was 1.49.  

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Sept. 10, 2021)

  • New cases 421
  • Deaths 30,413
  • Currently hospitalized 109
  • PCR tests performed 10,336,554
  • Antigen tests performed 26,399,867
  • Total vaccinations 11,608,871
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 13,957
  • People who have completed vaccination 5,825,593
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 23
  • PES index 56
  • R number 1.44
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