Vaccines for 5.5 million inhabitants ordered

The government has already ordered doses of Covid-19 vaccine for 5.5 million inhabitants via the European Union - and is negotiating more.

EU countries are currently negotiating with seven manufacturers - but they will only have to buy the vaccines if they pass all the tests and are approved. According to the government's materials, the Czech Republic has ordered doses for 1.5 million people from Astra Zeneca, vaccines for 2 million from BioNTech and Pfizer and the same amount from Johnson & Johnson. In total, these vaccines will cost 1.8 billion crowns.

According to the Minister of Health Jan Blatný (for ANO), Czechia is negotiating vaccines for another 10.6 million inhabitants. "We should have doses for up to 16 million people, which is more than the population of the Czech Republic. This is an approach that other countries have adopted too," said Blatný.

A vaccination strategy should be submitted to the government within two weeks. Vaccinations are supposed to be covered by public health insurance and voluntary. High-risk individuals and selected professions will have priority.

In a timetable set out in the cabinet's materials, doses for 400,000 people should arrive before the end of 2020, if any of the vaccines is approved by then. Doses for 850,000 more could arrive in the first quarter of next year, for other 2.1 million in the second quarter, for 1.9 million in the third and in the last one for 250,000 more people.