Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic is close to achieving herd immunity against Covid-19, biochemist Zdenek Hostomsky said in an interview for CNN Prima News.
Over 4 million fully vaccinated in the Czech Republic
Out of a total population of 10.6 million, more than 4 million people have now been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Czech Republic.
Around half of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Additionally, official data estimate that over 1.7 million Czechs have already contracted Covid-19 in the past year and should therefore be (at least partly) immune to the virus. Real figures of past infections are believed to be much higher.
“Collective immunity is at our fingertips,” the Czech biochemist claimed, noting that the fear of the more contagious Delta variant was pushing many sceptics, including among younger generations, to register for a jab.
Czech society close to herd immunity, says expert
According to some experts, collective immunity can be achieved once around 60-70 per cent of the population is immune, either through vaccination or past exposure to the virus – a reasoning which vaccine hesitancy and the spread of new variants, among other factors, have thrown into doubt.
In this context, it is “legitimate” for the Czech public health insurance to stop covering the costs of coronavirus tests, Zdenek Hostomsky argued on CNN Prima News.
Health Minister Adam Vojtech recently said that tests for Covid-19 could stop being free from September 1.
During the interview, M. Hostomsky nevertheless warned that more than half a million people aged over 65 have not been vaccinated yet, a risk which warrants, according to him, keeping the current sanitary restrictions and health guidelines in place while continuing the vaccination drive.
A survey conducted in the spring showed that around a quarter of Czechs did not plan on getting inoculated against the coronavirus.