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After Hungary, Czech Republic mulls third vaccine dose for selected people

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Prague, Czech Republic – A selected group of people should soon be offered a third dose of anti-Covid vaccine, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech announced this week.

Elderly people could be offered vaccine booster, Czech Miniser says

Although it still isn’t clear who exactly would be concerned by the measure, elderly citizens and people residing in social care homes are likely to be offered a third vaccination dose.

“I think the third dose will be applied to selected groups. I do not want to give a definitive opinion on for whom and when, but it is likely that this will happen in the foreseeable future,” the Health Minister said.

M. Vojtech added that the Czech government’s decision will largely depend on the guidelines issued by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), who is due to discuss the topic this week.

With the virus still spreading quickly in several regions and countries facing new and more infectious strains of Covid, governments and health experts around the world are debating the possibility of a third booster shot of anti-Covid vaccine, but no consensus on the issue has emerged yet.

Hungary first EU country to propose third vaccine dose

Hungary became the first EU country to offer a third shot of Covid vaccines to its population, with the campaign kicking off on August 1. The booster shot should come at least four months after the second dose, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, unless doctors advise otherwise.

The Hungarian government has also made coronavirus vaccines mandatory for all healthcare workers.

Although once a frontrunner in the EU, including due to its early approval of the Russian and Chinese-made vaccines, Hungary’s vaccination campaign has significantly slowed down in recent weeks, sparking growing concerns of a possible fourth wave after summer.

A study conducted earlier this month by Czech organisation Podane Ruce showed that up to 60 percent of seniors had significantly lower or no antibodies at all six months after being vaccinated, and that a third dose was probably necessary for groups of people more at risk.

The Czech government is expected to make a final decision on the matter before the end of the month.

Like their Czech neighbour, Poland and Slovakia are both awaiting the outcome of the discussions at the EU level.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Warsaw and Budapest.

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