Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic will offer a third dose of the Covid vaccines to high-risk groups, Health Minister Adam Vojtech confirmed to the daily Pravo.
The third dose will be made available in the autumn, M. Vojtech said, and authorities will announce later this month who exactly is eligible.
The most vulnerable groups, including elderly people, people with chronic illnesses as well as possibly frontline healthcare workers such as nurses and doctors, could be among those who will be offered a third booster shot.
The Czech government had already hinted it could decide to offer a third shot of the vaccine to selected groups of people, saying it was waiting for the recommendations of the European Medecines Agency (EMA).
Faced with the lower efficacy and weaker protection offered by the Russian and Chinese-made vaccines, Hungary became earlier this month the first country in the EU to offer a third dose to its population.
While the Czech Republic is one of the least affected countries in Europe, authorities have urged caution, pointing to the worsening epidemiological situation across the continent, including in neighbouring Germany and Austria.
Although the country could see a rapid rise in the number of cases in the autumn due to the spread of the Delta variant, Health Minister Vojtech said he was hopeful another lockdown could this time be avoided.
At least half of the Czech population has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Furthermore, a recent study indicated that around 50 percen, if not more, of Czech adults could already have contracted the virus and developed antibodies.