Thursday, 20 May 2021

Pfizer to Produce Materials For Its COVID-19 Vaccine in Croatia, Says PM

ZAGREB, 20 May 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that Pfizer would produce materials for its COVID-19 vaccine in its pharmaceutical plant in Savski Marof outside Zagreb, which would put Croatia into the group of European countries that manufacture ingredients of certain vaccines.

Plenković informed his cabinet today that he had discussed this matter with Pfizer's chairman and chief executive officer Albert Bourla on Wednesday.

The Savski Marof plant will produce the DNA template for the COVID-19 vaccine. This is an investment of $10 million, and will create jobs for about 30 people.

Plenković recalled that the European Commission had announced that an agreement had been reached with Pfizer on the delivery of 900 million doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 plus an additional 900 million, which means 1.8 billion doses from December 2021 to 2023.

He underscored the fact that in Croatia one in three adults had already received at least one shot of the vaccine against coronavirus infection.

The target is to have at least 50%-55% of the adult population vaccinated by the end of June.

Plenković also informed the cabinet about the Defence Council meeting on the procurement of multipurpose fighter jets. The Council convened on Thursday morning.

He reiterated that providing the armed forces with such aircraft would be "the greatest and the most important procurement for the armed forces."

The procurement will make Croatia an important and credible ally within NATO and will enable the Croatian armed forces to participate in various international missions at a completely different level, he added.

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

Thursday, 20 May 2021

HZJZ: One in Three Adults Vaccinated

ZAGREB, 20 May 2021 - As of today, every third adult in Croatia has been vaccinated against COVID-19, the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, 19 May, 43,890 doses of the vaccine were used, and the number of persons that have received at least one dose reached 1,109,161, which is 27% of the population or 33% of the adult population, while 341,008 persons have received both doses.

According to data from the eCijepih platform, as of 20 May, every third adult in Croatia has been vaccinated, which is a big step forward compared to early May, when on 1 May every fifth adult citizen of Croatia had been vaccinated, the HZJZ said.

First dose vaccine coverage is highest in Zagreb, 31% of the total population or 37.6% of the adult population, and second dose vaccine coverage is highest in Sisak-Moslavina County, 12% of the population or 14.4% of adults.

"These are encouraging data that give us reason for optimism when it comes to meeting the goal of vaccinating over a half of Croatia's adult population by the end of June. Vaccination is going according to plan, the epidemiological situation is better than in previous weeks and this is certainly good news, especially in the context of the upcoming tourist season," said HZJZ deputy director Ivana Pavić Šimetin.

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 choose your preferred language.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Vaccine Information For Those Who Got First Dose at the Zagreb Fair

May 5, 2021 - People in Zagreb are getting their vaccines against the novel coronavirus, and the ‘‘Dr. Andrija Štampar’’ Institute has some vaccine information for them.

The vaccination process is continuing across all regions of Croatia to combat the novel coronavirus, even after a few weeks of uncertainty marked by problems with the vaccination portal One of the vaccination points in the capital is at the Zagreb Fair, and those in charge have vaccine information about both doses for those who attend this vaccination point.

According to Our World in Data, as of 4 May, 944,398 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Croatia, with 734,556 people receiving the first dose and 209,842 receiving both doses.

As reported by, the "Dr. Andrija Štampar" Institute wants to inform all citizens of the City of Zagreb who have been vaccinated with the first dose at the vaccination point at the Zagreb Fair that they have been referred for vaccination with the second dose. The term of vaccination with the second dose was defined in accordance with the recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

Citizens can check the exact date for their second dose of vaccination at the Fair via the e-Citizens system, by calling the toll-free number 0800 8804 or via their selected family doctor (GP).

The "Dr. Andrija Štampar" Institute has also noted that the second dose of vaccination at the vaccination point at the Zagreb Fair is being organised exclusively for people who have already received their first dose of vaccine at that point. People without an referral term will not be vaccinated there due to limited organisational capacity.

In addition, "Stampar" has asked citizens to strictly adhere to the referral deadlines in order to avoid unnecessary crowds and for the purpose of more consistent adherence to epidemiological measures and recommendations.

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.

Friday, 16 April 2021

Croatia Will Have Received 1.8 Million Pfizer COVID Doses by 1 July

ZAGREB, 16 April, 2021 - Croatia can expect the delivery of 1.8 million Pfizer doses against coronavirus and the inoculation of 55% of the population against this infectious disease until 1 July, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Friday.

Representatives of the team said at a news conference that Croatia has registered a 32% weekly rise in new cases, and that the share of positive tests was 29.2% on Friday.

In terms of the incidence rate, Croatia  currently ranks 21st in the European Union and in the terms of the death rate, it ranks 17th, Croatia's chief epidemiologist Krunoslav Capak told the news conference.

"Pfizer has ramped up its delivery of vaccines for us. We Will have received a total of 1.805 million doses of this vaccine by the end of June," Capak said adding that he expected more than half of the population to get COVID shots before 1 July.

The head of the Zagreb-based Fran Mihaljević hospital for infectious diseases, Alemka Markotić called for additional caution before people get vaccinated.

"It would be a pity to develop serious symptoms of this disease now when we can be vaccinated soon," she said.

She said that the British variant of the novel virus was currently dominant in the European Union.

Markotić said that her hospital has been full with patients for days and that she was particularly concerned with the difficult condition of patients aged between 25 and 40.

Health Minister Vili Beroš reassured the general public that there would be enough vaccines for everyone who wishes to be immunised against this infectious disease.

Beroš dismissed accusations from some media outlets and Opposition lawmakers that the Cuspis company, which is allegedly owned by a family friend, had been favoured by the Health Ministry in the task to design the Cijepise (Get Vaccinated) platform.

Beroš said that all data concerning this issue were available on the ministry's website.

Beroš went on to say that the company had been hired by the ministry for some other tasks before he became an assistant minster and before his ministerial term.

For more about vaccination in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Croatian PM Andrej Plenković Says European Commission Intends to Ramp up Pfizer Vaccine Deliveries in Q2

ZAGREB, 14 April, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Wednesday that the European Commission in cooperation with the EU member-states was trying to ramp up the deliveries of Pfizer COVID vaccines in the second quarter of 2021.

Plenković informed his cabinet that earlier in the day he had talked with the EC President Ursula von der Leyen and that she informed him of the plans about a faster Pfizer COVID vaccine rollout in the second quarter of 2021.

The relevant information will soon be discussed by other relevant bodies.

Plenković called on the Croatians to comply with anti-epidemic measures and to behave responsibly.

He warned that for eight consecutive weeks, Croatia had been registering a rise in the number of confirmed infections with the novel coronavirus and in the number of related deaths.

We are trying to catch up with the inoculation rate and curb the spread of the virus, he added.

For more about vaccination in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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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Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Minister Vili Beros: One Million Croats Vaccinated Before End of March?

January the 13th, 2021 - Could Croatia manage to vaccinate one million Croatian residents before the end of March? According to Health Minister Vili Beros, it's not only possible but deeply desired.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Health Minister Vili Beros said there was going to be no easing of any anti-epidemic measures as yet, adding that the epidemiological situation across Croatia was now better and that the pressure on the healthcare system, which has been terrible of late, was finally diminishing.

"I want to believe that this is the result of the responsibility of people, but it also showcases the full meaning of what our measures are. We must not do anything that would jeopardise these positive trends, especially if we look at the events going on in Croatia's surrounding countries, the so-called the third wave. This is the possible consequence of socialising more indoors during the festive period, and also with regard to the specific situation in Croatia, which are the tragic events in Sisak-Moslavina County. Circumstances there can contribute to the spread of the epidemic, so we must be careful,'' Minister Vili Beros warned to Dnevnik HTV.

Interest in the vaccine

When asked how satisfied he was with how vaccination is going in Croatia, he said that the government had done everything possible to provide the vaccine.

"There's a lot of interest in it, and more vaccines are needed. People have put their faith in science, in the profession, in medicine. We need to reach a vaccination rate of more than 70 percent, and I believe we'll achieve that. There are 17,550 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arriving per week, there'll be 264,000 doses by the end of March. Moderna's vaccine is coming today, and there'll be a total of 52,000 doses of that by the end of February, the good news is that AstraZeneca has made progress too and the EMA will approve the vaccine on January the 29th. It's realistically possible that we'll be able to vaccinate a million people in Croatia by the end of March,'' said Minister Vili Beros.

Minister Vili Beros said private healthcare workers will be vaccinated in late January and in early February. The priority in vaccination, he reiterated, are those most vulnerable people living in homes for the elderly, employees of the social welfare system and healthcare workers. In the second phase, those over 65 with chronic illness or underlying diseases will be vaccinated, and those younger than 65 will be vaccinated at the end of February and at the beginning of March, depending on the dynamics of vaccine delivery.

The conditions in the earthquake-stricken Sisak hospital...

He commented on the situation in the Sisak hospital, saying that when it comes to statics, technical elements, the profession must have its say first.

"Engineers are evaluating the situation in the Sisak hospital. The surgical building is safe, according to the profession, unlike other buildings,'' he said.

The coronavirus crisis has cost a lot, he pointed out and stated that more than 1.132 billion kuna was spent on testing, treatment and sick leave, 82 million kuna on special drugs, 420 million kuna on vaccines, equaling a total of 1.634 billion kuna.

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Sunday, 27 December 2020

Pfizer Vaccine Arrives in Croatia! Vaccination Beginning Today

December the 27th, 2020 - The much talked about Pfizer vaccine has arrived in the Republic of Croatia, and vaccination against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is finally set to begin today after the year from hell.

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works for absolutely everything imaginable this year. This unprecedented public health crisis, the likes of which not seen since the tragic Spanish Flu pandemic over 100 years ago, took the entire world by storm and showed us just how much we remain at the mercy of nature, regardless of our advancements and achievements as a species. Man's arrogant belief that it is above everything else has once again been embarrassingly unravelled, and by something that we can't even see. 

The Pfizer vaccine has finally found its way to Croatia, marking a much desired light at the end of a very long, very dark tunnel for many. Krunoslav Capak, the director of the Croatian Institute for Public Health, who has become somewhat of a household name since the new virus penetrated Croatia's first line of defence, spoke about the Pfizer vaccine's arrival.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak said the country received the first 9,750 doses of the new coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech on Boxing Day at 06:00. The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at a temperature of -70 degrees and as of December the 27th, distribution among Croatian counties will begin.

Vaccination starts in Croatia today, and the first to be vaccinated will be those at the Tresnjevka Home for the Elderly in Zagreb. According to Krunoslav Capak, this is the most important event since the beginning of the pandemic.

"For now, this is a symbolic amount of vaccine that is being delivered to all EU member states, which marks the start of the European Vaccination Days on December the 27th, 28th and 29th, 2020. After that, new doses will arrive every week, which we expect in accordance with the vaccination plan. We'd like to invite all citizens to respond the start of vaccination in accordance with our slogan Think of others - get vaccinated,'' said the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, doc. Krunoslav Capak, and as was stated in the press release of the CNIPH.

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Monday, 21 December 2020

Capak: First Batch of Pfizer Vaccine to Consist of 9,750 Doses

ZAGREB, Dec 21, 2020 - The first batch of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered to Croatia on December 26, and the 9,750 doses will be distributed among the counties taking into account the size of their population, Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) director Krunoslav Capak said on Monday.

"A total of 9,750 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be sent to Croatia on December 26. We will try to vaccinate as many people as possible with this symbolic dose," Capak told a press conference of the national COVID-19 response team.

This symbolic first batch will not be enough to vaccinate the whole first priority group of people in Croatia. "The vaccine will primarily be administered to care home residents, some of the emergency medical workers and some of the health workers in COVID centres," Capak said.

Capak noted that Pfizer had pledged to deliver additional supplies on December 31 which would be used to vaccinate the whole first priority group. He said that discussions were under way on the vaccination of the second priority group, including people suffering from chronic diseases and those older than 65 years.

Capak pointed out that 27% fewer new coronavirus infections had been recorded in the week from December 15 to 21 than in the previous week.

Croatia has the third highest 14-day COVID-19 incidence rate and the ninth highest mortality rate in the European Union.

Friday, 18 December 2020

First Small Batch of COVID-19 Vaccine to be Delivered on Dec 26 to Croatia

ZAGREB, Dec 18, 2020 - Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) director Krunoslav Capak said on Friday that Pfizer would dispatch the COVID vaccine to EU member states on December 26 and that Croatia was among the countries that would receive this symbolic quantity.

He added, however, that it was still unknown when Croatia would get the rest of the million doses it ordered.

Capak said the delivery was being discussed with Pfizer at EU level and that the company promised that the tranche for the last quarter of 2020 would be dispatched by the end of January.

We assume will know the quantity by the end of next week, he added.

7 m2 per person in churches on Dec 24, 25

Mass services with more than 25 people will be allowed on December 24 and 25, provided that each person has seven square metres at their disposal, which will ensure a 2.6-metre-distance between them,

Speaking at a press conference of the national COVID-19 response team, he said that before and after those two days the ban on more than 25 people gathering indoors and outdoors would remain in force.

The HZJZ will appeal to the Church and the clergy to make sure that believers comply with the restrictions. Outside churches, a maximum 25 people will be allowed to gather and the recommendation is that all services on Christmas Eve end by 10 p.m.

Asked why bars and restaurants were not allowed to work under the 7 m2 criterion per customer, Capak said the answer was "impossible."

"We keep telling you that, with the measures, we are trying to ban contacts, but without banning the activities which are necessary for economic, psychological, social and other reasons. This measure is tied to respecting believers' wishes and needs for spiritual peace and the need to celebrate this holiday."

Small quantity of COVID-19 vaccine to be delivered on Dec 26Infections have dropped 20% in one week

In the week of December 14-18, Croatia recorded 20% fewer infections than the week before, "for the first time in weeks," but it will take more time for this mild downward trends to be reflected in "the number of hospitalisations, persons on ventilators and deaths," said Capak.

Compared with other EU countries, Croatia continues to have one of the highest incidence rates, ranking third on December 17, after Luxembourg and Lithuania.

Health minister on travel restrictions, bonus for working with COVID patients

Health Minister Vili Beros said travel within the country was being restricted ahead of the upcoming holidays because of asymptomatic patients.

He also responded to complaints from medical staff that this month they did not get the promised salary bonus for working with COVID patients, saying they would get it with the salary for December.

He said some hospitals had calculated the salaries for November before receiving the notification on how to calculate the bonus. "Not one health worker who works with COVID patients will be left without their bonus."

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