Prague's largest vaccination center closes down

The O2 Universum vaccination center administered its final vaccines on Friday; vaccination is still possible at shopping centers and other locations.


Written by ČTK Published on 11.09.2021 09:53:00 (updated on 13.09.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic's largest vaccination center, at O2 Universum in Prague, has terminated its operation as of Friday, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch has told media. The last vaccinated patient left the center shortly after 5:00 p.m. yesterday.

There are still about 300 vaccination points in the Czech Republic providing vaccination even for those who have not registered for vaccination in advance, said PM Andrej Babiš.

"All hospitals continue vaccinating. We are communicating with GPs so that they join in to the maximum possible extent. People trust medical workers. If they urge people [to get vaccinated] and explain it to them, people will seek vaccination," said Vojtěch.

Vojtěch added that he has written a letter in this respect to all GPs, of whom there are more than 5,500 in the Czech Republic.

Additionally, all clients have received a letter promoting vaccination from their respective health insurers, said Babiš.

For GPs, additional motivation comes in the form of 380 crowns that they receive for vaccinating a senior citizen, in addition to payment from the health insurer.

"We have not invented any other motivation, nor has it been invented by anyone else in the world. In Slovakia, the lottery project was a fiasco," Babiš added.

The Czech Republic too, offered a vaccination lottery for a short period of time earlier this year. Those who got vaccinated could win a pair of sneakers or a cell phone. The lottery ended after about a month.

Vaccination centers for those without previous registration continue to operate for the time being, and will operate at least through October, Vojtěch said.

At the country's biggest vaccination center in O2 Universum, about 680,000 vaccine doses were given out from May until its closure on Friday. It saw a daily high of 7,000 vaccinations, but its capacity enabled twice as many.

Twenty-six pharmacists and pharmaceutical assistants, 15 physicians, 19 nurses, three rescuers and 70 soldiers and members of active military reserves facilitated the center's daily operations.

The center was operated by Prague's Central Military Hospital, whose rent contract with Bestsport, owner of the O2 Universum hall, expires on Sunday. Afterwards, the hall will resume its standard operation as a venue for concerts and sport events.

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