Monday, 10 May 2021

More Than Two Thirds of Tourism Workers Willing to Get Vaccinated

ZAGREB, 10 May 2021 - Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac and Croatian Tourism Association director Veljko Ostojić said on Monday the summer season could be better than last year's, provided COVID-19 measures were complied with and a majority of tourism employees and the general population were vaccinated.

"Based on last year's experience and the preparations we have made together with the tourism sector and all tourism stakeholders, including the vaccination of tourism employees, which we consider the number one priority, I'm confident that this season could be quite good," Brnjac said in Rovinj.

The tourism sector is very interested in vaccination against COVID-19, she added.

"We have no problems with that at all because everyone is aware how important vaccination is so that we can ensure an even better season. After Dalmatia and Istria, the vaccination of tourism employees has begun in the interior and we have information that almost 70% of the tourism sector is willing to be vaccinated."

Brnjac said the Croatian Institute of Public Health should ensure additional doses for tourism employees.

She recalled that the Digital Green Certificate should be introduced on 1 June, that Croatia was part of a pilot project, and that Croatia already on 1 April clearly defined conditions and criteria for entering the country.

Ostojić said that unless something unforeseen and negative happened, he expected the summer season to be better than last year's.

He said he expected a lot from the Green Certificate, adding that the COVID-19 situation was improving.

"If the epidemiological situation isn't good, we have no right to expect tourism to happen. But by intensifying the vaccination of tourism employees as well as the general population, we will significantly improve the situation and be competitive as we were last year at the start of the season," said Ostojić.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

State Spent Millions on Cijepi Se Vaccine Platform, Medjimurje Spends 40,000 HRK

April the 24th, 2021 - The Cijepi Se vaccine platform has been up and running for some time now, allowing residents of Croatia to indicate their desire to be immunised against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and register themselves to be called upon for vaccination. 

The Cijepi Se vaccine platform cost some serious money, but one continental Croatian county, more specifically Medjimurje, has managed to put together something very similar for a fraction of the cost.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, beautiful Medjimurje County didn't want to wait for the state to sort things out for them to start vaccinating their residents against the new disease. Back in January this year, they independently launched their own local platform for vaccination applications. So far, 24,000 people have signed up through it and vaccinations can be received at 10 points throughout that particular county.

They have had an online vaccination platform for four months now and they have vaccinated more than half of those registered.

It could be said that their vaccination plan is going well thanks to the internet platform they created two months before the Cijepi Se vaccine platform was made and put into function across the nation by the state. Unlike the state, they didn’t have to fork out millions for that platform either, as it cost a mere 40,000 HRK.

Medjimurje County Prefect Matija Posavec said for 24sata that they do also use the state's Cijepi Se vaccine platform, but they still kept working with their own, through which a lot of people apply.

''We've only got about 3,000 people left to vaccinate in the priority group of people over the age of 65 and then we're done with that priority group. We've already started vaccinating those in the education system, and we've immunised half of those who applied so far. We also organised 10 mass vaccination points to relieve the pressure which was being put on healthcare centres. It all works and is going well. At a meeting on Wednesday, they announced that twice as many vaccines are on their way to Croatia, and with the help of our platform, we can already organise who will be invited for vaccination and when their appointment will be,'' said Posavec.

The fact that their platform works is also showcased by the information provided by the director of the Cakovec Health Centre, Dr. Branko Vrcic. When someone registers themselves on the vaccination platform in Medjimurje County, their request is processed within a mere half an hour and they already know the location and time of vaccination, unlike the issues faced by the far larger Cijepi Se vaccine platform which can take a long time before issuing a time and date for vaccination even for priority groups.

For more on coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres up and down the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Croatia Joins List of Countries Open to Vaccinated Travelers

April 3, 2021 - As the Afar travel magazine reports, Croatia, Ecuador, Montenegro, and Iceland are the latest additions to the list of countries open to vaccinated travelers.

It’s no joke. As of April 1, anyone can travel to Croatia if they present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate (the final dose must be administered at least 14 days before arrival); can present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in Croatia (if it’s a rapid test, a second test must be taken 10 days after the initial test if your stay in Croatia is longer than 10 days); or were diagnosed with and recovered from COVID-19 no more than 180 days prior to arrival. Children under seven years of age are exempt.

The U.S. Embassy in Croatia reminds travelers that tourists who meet the above requirements will only be permitted to enter Croatia if they provide evidence that they have paid for their Croatia accommodations in advance and in full prior to arrival at the border.

The European country of Croatia is the latest destination to open to travelers vaccinated against COVID-19 as vaccine rollouts continue in the United States and abroad.

Effective April 1, anyone who presents a COVID-19 vaccine certificate can enter Croatia, according to the latest update from the Croatian Government’s Ministry of Interior. You can also enter with a negative COVID test result or if you have recovered from COVID-19.

The move is the latest in a series of updated government policies - issued by countries that include Belize, Ecuador, Iceland, and Seychelles - that have in recent weeks given permission to vaccinated travelers to visit. The new protocols typically allow vaccinated travelers to bypass otherwise mandatory quarantine and testing measures. There is an ongoing debate about whether vaccinations should be a passport to entry for travelers - in many cases countries also have alternative protocols for unvaccinated travelers, such as the option to submit to a COVID-19 testing requirement.

Check Total Croatia's guide to COVID-19 in Croatia for daily updates about coronavirus, as well as the latest travel rules in Croatia.


Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Croatian Vaccination to Pick Up as Pfizer Returning to Original Scheduling?

January the 27th, 2021 - Good news has arrived from Pfizer following a recent disappointing announcement that Croatian vaccination process, as well as the vaccination processes of other EU countries, couldn't continue at the previously planned rate.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, due to the unplanned slower delivery of Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, the HQ announced a few days ago that they could not continue vaccination at the same rate in the next few weeks as planned, which attracted the general frustration and displeasure of the EU.

Owing to joint pressure from EU member states as well as from Brussels itself following the previously announced reduction in deliveries and thus non-compliance with the signed contract, Pfizer changed its story yesterday.

“Because of the urgent need to vaccinate more people, we've explored innovative ways in which we can increase the number of doses we can deliver this year and now believe we can potentially deliver approximately 2 billion doses by the end of 2021,” Pfizer said, which is very encouraging indeed for the Croatian vaccination process.

In order to achieve that goal, certain modifications of production processes are now urgently needed. As a result, the Puurs plant in Belgium will experience a temporary reduction in the number of doses delivered to the rest of the EU. According to their information, from the original 1.3 billion doses, they will now produce at least two billion this year.

"This week we will return to the original schedule of deliveries to the European Union, including Croatia, while the increased deliveries will start on February the 15th. Thus, we will fully fulfill the agreement and deliver the agreed quantities of vaccines in the first quarter of 2021, while they will be significantly higher in the second quarter,'' Pfizer told Vecernji list.

The Croatian Institute of Public Health's comments on Pfizer's announced increased vaccine supply

The Croatian Institute of Public Health explained what exactly this means for the Croatian vaccination process.

“Pfizer has so far delivered 17,550 doses per week which would be equal to 18 boxes. So, 18 boxes would be arriving on a weekly basis, from January the 25th to February the 15th, a reduction of 14 boxes in total in those three weeks is planned.

On February the 15th, Croatia should receive 19 boxes, and on February the 22nd, it will receive 20, so only three more boxes.

After the 15th and the 22nd of February, Croatia should return to its regular delivery schedule and receive an extra 3 boxes, and we will know in time what the delivery will look like for the month of March and whether there will be certain compensations,'' said the Croatian Institute of Public Health for N1.

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Friday, 4 October 2019

Harsher Penalties for Parents Not Vaccinating Their Children?

ZAGREB, October 4, 2019 - Justice Minister Dražen Bošnjaković said on Thursday that after an analysis and public consultation, he would take a stance on a proposal by the children's ombudsman that parents not vaccinating their children be convicted and sent to prison, saying however that harsher penalties were more effective.

Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting on Thursday, Bošnjaković said that public consultation on amendments to the criminal law had just ended and that he was yet to analyse all the proposals, objections and suggestions that have arrived including the proposal by the ombudsman.

"We will consult the medical and legal profession, faculties and see where we are," he said, adding that it was too early to comment on the ombudsman's proposal.

Commenting on a statement by Health Minister Milan Kujundžić that drastic penalties were not necessary and fines were enough, along with informing parents, Bošnjaković said that he is not familiar with the medical aspect, however he would talk with everyone and see what the best solution was.

"We already had amendments to the criminal law whereby we increased penalties for those committing crimes toward children and minors. I think that harsher penalties are more effective than lenient ones which do not deter possible perpetrators. I think that harsher penalties are a better message to those who might want to commit a crime," said Bošnjaković.

More vaccination news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Small Protest Against Mandatory Vaccination Held in Split

ZAGREB, June 9, 2019 - A peaceful anti-vaccination protest was held in Split to mark International Vaccine Injury Awareness Day, with protesters saying that the procedure should not be mandatory but based on informed consent.

The protest was organised by the Croatian Association of Parents and Activists (HURA), and a special guest at the event was Andrew Wakefield, a controversial British doctor who has lost his medical licence and who opposes vaccination, claiming it causes autism.

Speakers at the protest stood up for Wakefield, claiming that he was exposed to a media lynching campaign.

The protesters wore T-shirts and carried banners with messages warning about the consequences of vaccination such as "Report side effects", "Mom and dad decide", "Stop the import of unsuitable vaccines", "These are our children", and "Leukaemia means death".

HURA president Alma Demirović said that vaccination is mandatory in Croatia, which violates some of the fundamental human rights, notably "to right to obtain full information on vaccination." Vacines cannot be mandatory and noncompliance cannot be punished with discrimination, fines and other types of human rights violation, said Demirović.

She stressed that HURA was not advocating an end to get vaccinations but rather that it be done on the basis of a recommendation.

Wakefield said that Croatian citizens had to have control over their and their children's bodies and that they should demand full informed consent with regard to vaccination.

Another speaker at the protest, doctor Lidija Gajski said Wakefield had been exposed to a media lynching campaign.

"The medical community is calling for the boycott of today's protest. Science journalists have stood up against it. Andrew Wakefield's visit was announced by almost all media outlets," said Gajski, describing media reports as a lynching campaign aimed at distorting the truth.

The anti-vaccination gathering in Split was also attended by member of parliament Ivan Pernar, who recently left his Živi Zid party, and who told reporters that he came to support parents in their right to choose whether or not to have their children vaccinated.

"Vaccination should be voluntary and it will be voluntary when the parliamentary majority is made up of politicians who advocate voluntary vaccination," Pernar said, calling on voters to support such politicians.

The Croatian Medical Chamber, the Croatian Medical Association and members of the Croatian Journalists Association who are science journalists recently expressed concern about Wakefield's visit to Split, noting that vaccination was one of the most important medical achievements of modern times and one of the safest medical interventions.

More news about the issue can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 15 October 2018

After Tragedy, Football Star Calls on Parents to Vaccinate Children

A former Croatian international has recently lost his daughter.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

New Measles Cases Reported in Dubrovnik Area

The number of confirmed cases has increased to 13.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Health Minister: Don’t Worry about Measles

ZAGREB, May 30, 2018 - Health Minister Milan Kujundžić said on Wednesday that the situation with measles in Croatia was not serious in epidemiological terms and that he did not expect that an isolated case in Dubrovnik might harm the tourist season.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Anti-Vaccination Madness: Measles Return to Croatia

Due to lower vaccination rates, there is a danger of a wider epidemic.

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