Czech Republic coronavirus updates, Jan 7, 2021: Moderna vaccine approved and enroute

The Czech Republic will receive doses of the newly approved vaccine this month as cases skyrocket and restrictions are likely prolonged.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 07.01.2021 08:55 (updated on 08.01.2021)

The first delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine from the Moderna firm, which the European Commission approved Wednesday for use in the European Union, should arrive in the Czech Republic around Jan. 22, according to health officials' updated Czech vaccination strategy.

The news comes amid record numbers in the Czech Republic which saw the highest daily number of confirmed COVID cases since the epidemic outbreak in March this week. Crematoriums in the Czech regions are currently overloaded according to the central crisis staff.

Health Minister Jan Blatny said in a meeting of the lower house healthcare committee Wednesday that the rise in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases "reflect the massive meetings of families during Christmas."

Critics argue that contacts between people stagnated before the holidays and sharply dropped during Christmas and said that the current numbers rather reflect relaxed restrictions prior to the holidays.

The Czech Republic has ordered 1.9 million Moderna vaccine doses in total. Originally, the country was to get 80,000 doses in Jan., but Blatny said the Czech Republic is likely to receive only about 20,000 this month.

The vaccine rollout strategy has faced criticism particularly with regards to online registration which presents complications for seniors who are among the first priority group for vaccination.

The cabinet will meet Thursday morning to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic. Blatny has said that he will not propose any softening of the current lockdown restrictions, nor would he support a proposal to reopen ski resorts.

The toughest restrictions will remain in force until Jan. 10 at least, however, the cabinet is likely to prolong these measures on Thursday.

Latest COVID data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Jan 7., 2021)

  • Active cases 132,725
  • New cases 17,668
  • Deaths 12,621
  • Currently hospitalized 7,143
  • Antigen tests performed 950,051
  • Vaccinations reported 19,918