Czechs will now get their second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines after 42 days, informed the Ministry of Health.
The Minister of Health Jan Blatný (for ANO) previously announced the change. It has the support of the Government Council for Health Risks and was also promoted by its member, epidemiologist Petr Smejkal. So far, people have got a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccine after 21 a 28 days, respectively.
"From a professional point of view, it is perfectly fine, there is no need to worry. But this change will allow us all to protect more people in shorter time," the Ministry of Health tweeted. Already booked appointments will not change. Also, for the AstraZeneca vaccine, the second dose is still scheduled after 12 weeks.
On Sunday, Health Minister Blatný stated that the protection of a person vaccinated with the first dose gradually approaches 80% after two weeks. Thus, the risk of hospitalization and death is reduced. Epidemiologist Rastislav Maďar also thinks that people from at-risk groups should get at least their first dose as soon as possible.
In total, 1.13 million people, about a tenth of the population, got at least their first jab. Of those, 445,000 also received the second dose. Another 99,000 people have an appointment booked and more than 600,000 have registered for vaccination. Right now, vaccinations are open for health professionals, clients and employees of inpatient social services facilities, people over the age of 70, some chronically ill people and some workers of the state's critical infrastructure. People over the age of 65 and social services workers will be added to the list next week.