Vaccine registration may open to those over 40 in June, says Czech Health Minister

According to Petr Arenberger, the expected pace of vaccine administration may allow those over 40 to register by the end of June.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 17.04.2021 09:11 (updated on 17.04.2021)

Registration for Covid-19 vaccination may open to people over 40 by the end of June, Czech Health Minister Petr Arenberger told reporters on Friday.

He added that the Easter holidays had not worsened the development of the Covid-19 epidemic, but that people must still be cautious.

The epidemic can be considered under control if there are less than 100 confirmed coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants, while the current figures are almost three times higher, Arenberger stated.

"The relaxation must be considerate and gradual. There is a threat of returning to a rising infection rate if something unexpected occurrs," he said.

The daily rise in new infection cases, the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients, and the average number of people infected by one positively tested person have been decreasing, Arenberger said.

On Wednesday, registration for Covid-19 vaccination opened to people aged 65-69.

Arenberger said that vaccination would continue to proceed according to age groups, and those over 40 could start registering at the end of June at the expected pace of the vaccination.

Roughly 2.6 million vaccine doses have been supplied to the Czech Republic to date, and more than 2.3 million have been applied. The country has 10.7 million inhabitants, and the vaccines currently being used require two doses each.

Arenberger appreciated that more and more people have expressed interest in getting vaccinated against Covid-19.

"The interest has almost doubled since the vaccination started [last December]," he added.

The Health Ministry presented the results of an opinion poll conducted by STEM that showed that 69 percent of people want to get vaccinated, while in early December only 39 percent wanted it.

The STEM poll also showed that 71 percent of the respondents believe that the vaccine needs to be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the most popular, as two thirds of people are willing to get it.

More than half of people are willing to get the vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson; 48 percent are willing to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, but 29 percent would reject it. The Russian vaccine Sputnik V, which has not been certified for use in the European Union, is trusted by 25 percent of Czechs.

Arenberger said the positive impact of vaccination on health professionals is now apparent as the infection rate among them has steeply declined. About 70 percent of doctors and half of other healthcare workers have now been vaccinated against Covid-19.