Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Ivana Pavic Simetin Advocating Croatian Covid Certificates for Kids

December the 15th, 2021 - Croatian covid certificates for children is definitely something that has been getting a lot of attention from the public and has become a talking point for all sorts of views from both ends of the spectrum ever since Ivana Pavic Simetin, Krunoslav Capak's deputy at the Croatian Institute of Public Health, first mulled over the idea.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes the deputy director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Ivana Pavic Simetin, told reporters that the latest batch of vaccines will be arriving in the country in the usual way it has done before. "The vaccine plane arrives on Monday and then distribution starts," she said.

"What is coming isn't all for children, there are two boxes for children, the rest of them are for adults, and there will be a total of 48,000 doses for children aged from 5 to 12 years of age. Children between the ages of 12 and 18 are now being vaccinated as adults,'' Ivana Pavic Simetin explained.

"Some of the vaccines will remain here at the Croatian Institute of Public Health, while the rest will go off to various county institutes for public health, and from there to the dispensaries. According to the county institutes, everyone will organise their vaccinations for children through pediatric clinics, schools and general practitioners. Where there is more interest, vaccinations will be organised at mass vaccination points too,'' she explained, adding that the booster doses don't apply to children. "For children who are immunocompromised, the third dose applies, and it should be given one month after the first two doses," she said.

When asked what the interest in vaccinating children is, Ivana Pavic Simetin said: “Parents are inquiring about vaccination, especially parents who have vaccinated children over 12. We see particular interest in parents whose children are chronically unwell, especially if they're immunodeficient. There is interest, but unfortunately it is not, and it will not be like in some Western countries where more than 50 percent of children over the age of 12 have already been vaccinated,'' she said, adding that the vaccination of children will start on Wednesday at the School of Public Health in Zagreb, and will continue on Saturday.

The difference in coronavirus vaccines for children and adults

Regarding the difference between the coronavirus vaccine for children and that for adults, Ivana Pavic Simetin explained that the bottle itself differs in terms of the colour of the cap, and that it is important for doctors to note "that there are 10 doses of vaccine in one bottle and that it should be used within a period of 12 hours.''

“Children get two doses just like adults, but the children's dose is one third of the adult dose,'' she added.

As for the idea of Croatian covid certificates for children, Ivana Pavic Simetin said: "This should be discussed with AKD, but it would be good if we could go for covid certificates for kids."

A new shipment of vaccines for children, she added, will arrive in Croatia during March next year.

How many children have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus in Croatia so far?

According to the deputy director of the CNIPH, about 6,400 children between the ages of 12 and 14 across Croatia have now been vaccinated with their first dose, which is about 5.18 percent of that age group. 55,000 young people aged 15 to 19 were also vaccinated.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Pavić Šimetin Says New Epidemiological Restrictions Considered

ZAGREB, 19 Aug, 2021 - Croatian Public Health Institute deputy director Ivana Pavić Šimetin said on Wednesday that an increase in the number of new coronavirus cases could be stopped and slowed down with vaccination and adherence to epidemiological measures.

Pavić Šimetin told Croatian Television that new epidemiological measures were being considered, including the possibility to shorten business hours.

She said authorities expected a lot from the digital COVID-19 certificate, adding that wearing a mask in school would be mandatory form from grades five and up.

For more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Ivana Pavic Simetin: We'll Vaccinate Entire School Grades if Needed

June the 30th, 2021 - Ivana Pavic Simetin of the Croatian Institute of Public Health recently discussed the Croatian vaccination rollout, and even touched on the vaccination of children.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Deputy Head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Ivana Pavic Simetin, was a recent guest of N1 Studio live. She discussed the vaccination of people in Zagreb who hadn't been previously invited for the vaccine, and that other counties had already started carrying out the rollout in this way.

She stated that there are young doctors vaccinating people.

''We're vaccinating our citizens who haven't had the opportunity to be vaccinated so far, we're vaccinating them without them needing to provide any prior notice, without being invited, they just need to come and bring their health cards so that we can enter all the data for the digital certificate. It's going very well," Ivana Pavic Simetin said.

"So far, the vast majority of people who have a great will and motivation have been vaccinated, either because of illness or because of travel. There are a large number of citizens, 30 or 40 percent of them, who have nothing against vaccination, they even have a positive attitude towards it, but they lack motivation. They think that it isn't convenient today, so tomorrow or the day after tomorrow and a month or two will pass. To reach such groups, we must come to them.

A good example are the covid buses that travel through rural areas and vaccinate people,'' she explained, also appealing to people waiting for autumn to be vaccinated, saying that then, if the fourth wave comes, it will be too late because they won't be protected. As for vaccinating children, she says that it is currently recommended that children aged 12 and older be vaccinated if they themselves have a chronic illness or if they have someone in the household who is at risk.

"If someone has a desire for their child to be vaccinated, and they don't fall into these two categories, they can exercise the right to that, but for now there is no organised vaccination of children. First, because they've broken up from school and it would be difficult to gather them together, and in children there are either no symptoms or they are very mild and there is much more experience in vaccinating adults in the world than there is in children.

By the beginning of the next academic year, we'll prepare everything, study the literature and if there is something more organised to come, it will happen in autumn. If there are indicators that all children should be vaccinated, it will be carried out in schools, with whole classes, as it is typically done with every other vaccine,'' she explained.

"It is not good for public figures to send out messages about not getting vaccinated.''

She also spoke about Croatian footballer Ivan Perisic, who according to the latest information didn't get vaccinated, and is now positive for COVID-19.

''It isn't good for anyone to send out messages about not being vaccinated, especially public figures. Djani Stipanicev contacted us because he's a supporter of vaccination, and musicians also do the same see how many people will be able to come to their concerts with their digital confirmation documents. We already had several well-known names who have supported us in the vaccination process, for example Goran Ivanisevic was vaccinated in our country, Zvonimir Boban was also there.

We're in constant contact with sports federations, we have special agreements with them, they need to be tested a lot because of all the competitions, so they know that they can contact us and we'll arrange vaccinations for them the same day or the day after. All public health institutes have put vaccination in the first place. It isn't difficult at all to get vaccinated,'' she concluded.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

120 Guests Will be Allowed at Croatian Wedding Celebrations Under Conditions

May the 27th, 2021 - As Croatia's epidemiological picture continues to improve and as measures begin easing gradually, 120 guests will now be able to attend Croatian wedding celebrations, as long as one of three conditions are properly met.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Ivana Pavic Simetin, the deputy director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, was a guest on the Dobro jutro, Hrvatska (Good morning, Croatia) show on HRT during which she commented on the easing of Croatia's anti-epidemic measures. She also revealed some further details.

She revealed that there will be 120 people allowed to attend Croatian wedding celebrations, but they must meet one of three conditions: they must have a negative PCR test result, they must be fully vaccinated, or have proof that they have contracted and recovered from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in the last six months. As she said, such guests will probably have to come to Croatian wedding celebrations with a certificate stating clearly which group they belong to, and on top of that, the guest list will have to be submitted a few days in advance so that all this can be checked later.

"Our joint efforts and refraining from various activities have led to a favourable epidemiological situation. Over the last few weeks, we've had a big drop in the infection rate, so the National Civil Protection Directorate made the decision to loosen up some of our measures and make a sort of return to the lifestyle we were used to before,'' said Pavic Simetin.

"As far as I'm aware, the decision of the National Civil Protection Directorate will be valid as of Friday, and the measure which placed a limit on 25 people rise to 100. We'll also open restaurants indoors, lift the number of people permitted to attend funerals, so these are all some good messages we're getting," she described.

"This is all going to be gradual, it's not about opening everything up right away, there's also going to be a difference in how people behave in restaurants and how they behave in cafes. There are more people there, more people come into contact with each other, it isn't always possible to determine which people were there, whereas a restaurant is more of a stationary activity, one sits down in the company of others, if someone tests positive, we can find out who they were around,'' explained Pavic Simetin.

"There will be a limit of up to 120 people for Croatian wedding celebrations, provided that the person has a negative PCR result, has recovered within 6 months or has been vaccinated. That will be the main strategy as far as weddings are concerned,'' she revealed for HRT.

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 up and down the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Public Health Institute's Ivana Pavic Simetin Talks "Covid Passports"

May the 13th, 2021 - Ivana Pavic Simetin of the Croatian Institute of Public Health has discussed what so-called ''covid passports'' will mean for people in practice for those who have been fully vaccinated, only had one dose, or have proof of their recovery from the disease.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic was commented on for HRT by the Deputy Director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Ivana Pavic Simetin, epidemiologist Ozren Polasek and the Chief of the Istrian Civil Protection Directorate, Dino Kozlevac.

“Mortality is always late in relation to the incidence of the disease, so the number of falls in mortality isn't so obvious, although we can see it in some indicators. The incidence of the disease has definitely been declining since April the 18th when things peaked and when we had more than 530 daily average cases of infection per million inhabitants. Yesterday that number stood at 320, so we're recording a continuous decline,'' said Ivana Pavic Simetin.

"This shows that the measures are working and that we're preparing well for the tourist season," noted Ivana Pavic Simetin, adding that the death rate will also begin to fall.

She said that Croatia's position when it comes to vaccination against the novel coronavirus with both doses of AstraZeneca vaccine hasn't changed and that, as we also reported, there will be enough for both doses despite the EU's contract with AstraZeneca expiring.

"The interval is twelve weeks between the two doses of vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has allowed us to vaccinate people with the first dose of this vaccine from February until now, there are only a few people who have already been vaccinated with two doses of this vaccine," she said.

“The situation has been stable for several weeks now, with a constant decline. But we aren't entirely happy with the situation, people with severe symptoms still end up in the hospital and this burdens our system. We had 80 people in hospital recently. Mortality is present almost daily. Things are going well, but we mustn't give in to pressure and open up again too soon, that's the only danger. We believe that things will be okay in June and July,'' said Dino Kozlevac, adding that the situation with vaccination in Istria is good.

"The interest has been great from the beginning and it's only growing every day. As of two days ago, we vaccinated about 50,000 people with the first dose and about 13,000 people with the second dose. The organisation works perfectly at 11 points for mass vaccination, and the action of vaccinating tourist workers is underway,'' said Kozlevac.

“Last week, 17,798 doses arrived and all of them were administered. We're satisfied and that's the key, I expect that in the coming weeks we will vaccinate 50 percent of the adult population and that's the right path to go down,'' he added.

Epidemiologist Ozren Polasek tried to explain what is being achieved by these rehearsal events and gatherings.

"Here we can obtain the most interesting information about how the virus spreads in more or less controlled conditions. Namely, when you find someone who tests positive, you can only ask them about who they've been exposed to in the past, and they might not remember everyone. At these experimental gatherings, we're primarily interested in how much two doses of the vaccine protects a person, because autumn and next year depend on that,'' said Polasek.

"In the case of recovery from the disease, covid passports are valid for six months, in case of vaccination, they have no expiration date,'' he added.

Ivana Pavic Simetin says that we currently have three components of the so-called covid-passports - vaccination, recovery and negative PCR or antigen test.

"As for vaccinations, for now these passports don't have a shelf life, but in case of recovery following contracting the actual illness, they're valid for six months," she added.

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

Monday, 24 August 2020

School To Start On Sept 7, School-Related Public Health Measures Presented

ZAGREB, Aug 24, 2020 - School starts on September 7, and the main rule is to keep one's distance, not to mix pupils from different classes and to step up hygiene, while face masks will be mandatory only for pupils in higher grades if there is not enough space for them to keep their distance, the Education Ministry said on Monday.

The basic rule is that those who are showing symptoms of a communicable disease, are self-isolating or have contracted COVID-19 do not go to school, and to curb the disease it is necessary to keep one's distance, reduce contact between different classes, and step up personal hygiene and that of shared spaces, said Ivana Pavic Simetin, deputy head of the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) and coordinator of the task force in charge of elaborating and proposing school-related public health measures for the start of the 2020/2021 school and academic year.

Pupils should come into contact with a few teachers as possible during one day or period.

"It is recommended to have two or three hours of classes, two shifts, to have lessons start at different times, as well as breaks," Pavic Simetin said while presenting epidemiological guidelines for the start of the school year.

It is also suggested that schools provide replacement rooms in case there are too many pupils in a classroom for them to be at a distance of 1.5 meters in primary and 2 meters in secondary schools.

If there are no other possibilities, it is suggested that the school operates in shifts. For instance, half of the classes could attend school one week, and the second half next week.

In the event of a child exhibiting symptoms, he or she is separated from others and parents come to pick up their child, but there is no need to panic, and an epidemiologist should only be contacted if several children start showing symptoms.

If a child tests positive for COVID-19, the entire class or kindergarten group will undergo self-isolation.

Pavic-Simetin underscored that children were not superspreaders and that they rarely infect their family members or teachers.

Lower grades of primary schools to function as "bubbles"

Education and Science Minister Radovan Fuchs reiterated that classes in lower grades of primary school would follow the "bubble" model so pupils will not leave the classroom, they will have controlled access to the toilet, their teacher will be with them all the time and they will not mix with children from other classes. They will not have to wear face masks, nor will their teacher.

Pupils in higher grades of primary schools will only have to wear masks if there is not enough space for them to maintain physical distance.

Asked about optional subjects, such as religion, foreign languages, and IT, he underscored that there would be no mixing pupils from different classes, so if that was not possible, such classes would be held online.

There will be online classes if any of these two scenarios occurs: an entire class or school is undergoing self-isolation, or a class is being split up to provide more space for physical distancing, Fuchs said.

"That should not be a big problem, the least favorable version is to have children stay home," he underscored.

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