Friday, 4 December 2020

Capak on Vaccination Plan in Croatia: It Won't Be Mandatory, But Masks Will

December 4, 2020 – At today's press conference of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, Krunoslav Capak, director of the Croatian Institute for Public Health, presented the vaccination plan in Croatia.

Capak said that the EU had opened negotiations with six manufacturers in the first phase and that the first agreement Croatia had received was the AstraZeneca agreement. From this manufacturer, 3.6 million doses of vaccine were ordered, but due to the huge interest of other EU countries, Croatia received 2.7 million doses, so the remaining 900,000 doses were ordered from Johnson & Johnson.

After that, one million doses were ordered from Pfizer and Moderna, and 300,000 doses from CureVac.

"Croatia has ordered 5.6 million vaccine doses from various manufacturers, and we have received an offer from the company that will register it at the end of 2021. We will take smaller quantities from them in case this is a seasonal vaccine," Capak said.

Pfizer's vaccine could be registered by December 29, registration of the Moderna vaccine is expected in early January, so it is likely that these vaccines will be the first to be vaccinated in Croatia, as the Oxford (AstraZeneca) vaccine is expected later in the first quarter of next year, said Capak.

Vaccination free and voluntary, masks still mandatory

"We've made a vaccination plan. It has all the elements except the distribution date and quantity, that's what we don't know yet. Pfizer has announced that the first round that comes to us will contain 125,000 doses. If it's a quarterly delivery, we'll be able to vaccinate 62,500 people. If there is a monthly delivery, then we will be able to vaccinate 125,000 people," said Capak, adding that the priority people are the sick, people in health care, users and staff of nursing homes. After that, the vaccine will be offered to all other residents.

"We calculate that 5.6 million doses will be enough for everyone who wants to be vaccinated. The vaccine will be free and voluntary, it will not be mandatory. But it would be good to vaccinate as many people as possible; it provides us with collective immunity," said Capak, emphasizing that the era of not wearing masks will not begin with the vaccination itself.

"For a while, we will coexist with masks even though we have been vaccinated or got over it. When the numbers fall then we will reduce the obligation to wear masks," Capak said.

The importance of informing about vaccination

"All vaccines recommend two doses. The second dose follows three or four weeks after the first. In the implementation, we took a model of how we do it for the flu. The county public health institutes will vaccinate with the help of other colleagues," he says.

Also, Capak added that it is very important to inform citizens truthfully and accurately, so the Government will hold a series of expert conferences to promote the importance of vaccination.

"In the fight against anti-vaccines, it is important to accurately inform citizens, and we are already doing that. The government will run an additional campaign, there will be a series of professional and scientific conferences, experts will talk about the vaccine and effectiveness. We will promote the importance of vaccination through the media and other means of communication and we think it is very important to emphasize in this campaign that vaccination protects not only ourselves but also others. It is a matter of social responsibility and solidarity with those most vulnerable from a coronavirus infection,” Capak said.

He added that no one even talked about compulsory vaccination.

"I will definitely get vaccinated and I offer you to record it when the vaccine comes to Croatia," Capak promised reporters and was joined by other members Davor Bozinović, Alemka Markotić, and Vili Beroš.

"It is said that this is the fastest developed vaccine in history. That is true, but one should know the fact that from the beginning it was obvious that the cure would be difficult to find. Therefore, large funds were quickly invested in vaccine research and production," Capak said in the introduction of the conference.

Sources: Hina,

To read more news about coronavirus in Croatia, follow our dedicated page.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Beros: Participation in Initiatives Important so We Wouldn't Be Left without Vaccine

ZAGREB, July 30, 2020 - Health Minister Vili Beros said on Thursday it was difficult to say when the coronavirus vaccine would be available, but that Croatia's participation in global initiatives was important so that it would not be left without the vaccine.

"The European Commission and other global initiatives are making their projections based on optimistic thinking, with some mentioning the end of this year and some the middle of the next . I really can't say except that the vast capacities of the research community are being used in efforts to find a vaccine," Beros said while answering questions from the press ahead of a cabinet meeting.

Croatia recently signed a preliminary agreement for a million and a half doses of vaccine as part of the European Commission's initiative. Beros said that the price of that vaccine was still not known and that ultimately it was not important. "We will find a way to buy what the Croatian people need," he said.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Survey Suggests 40 Percent of Croats Will Skip Coronavirus Vaccine

May 24, 2020 — Croatians may take a pass on a coronavirus vaccine, according to a survey conducted by HRT.

The poll of 1,400 respondents also showed a vast majority want the nation’s borders wide-open.

The figures two months after Croatian authorities fought back a potential COVID-19 outbreak with stringent measures, including travel restrictions and curtailing business hours.

The survey include several other questions:

Are you afraid of the crown (COVID-19)?

9 percent of respondents said they were very scared. 

18.4 percent of respondents are afraid but much less than at the beginning of the epidemic. 

43.9 percent are not afraid but cautious.

28.4 percent said that they are not afraid at all. 

0.3 percent of respondents said they did not know or could not make a decision.

Scientists around the world are in an accelerated search for a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus, and respondents answered the question of what they would do after the discovery and scientific testing of the vaccine.

Do you intend to get vaccinated?

47.3 percent said for sure or probably. 

41.2 percent of the respondents likely no or definitely will not be vaccinated.

11.5 percent do not know or cannot decide.

The final question addressed the primary means of restarting Croatia’s tourism season: opening up the country.

Should Croatia open its state borders before the tourist season?

Yes, as many as 80 percent of respondents think without or with limitations. 15.2 percent did not answer, and 4.8 percent did not know or could not decide.

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