The Czech Republic has purchased vaccines for 5.5 million people to be used next year, at a cost of CZK 1.8 billion, and has further doses on reserve for 10.6 million people, at a cost of CZK 4.6 billion.
The vaccines will be covered by public health insurance, without additional payments, Health Minister said.
According to Novinky.cz, the Czech Republic has ordered the vaccine via the EU.
“As soon as the vaccine is available in the EU, the Czech Republic along with other countries will receive an aliquot part in the way agreed within the distribution mechanism,” Jan Blatný said.
“If we use all our resources, we will have doses for 16 million people, which is more than the number of citizens in the Czech Republic,” Blatný added.
Three million doses to cover 1.5 million people were ordered from Astra Zeneca. Two doses to induce immunity will also be needed for the vaccine from BioNTech and Pfizer. A vaccine has been ordered from Johnson & Johnson for two million citizens.
According to Blatný, if one of the vaccines is approved by the end of 2020, there will be enough doses to cover 400,000 people by the end of the year, 850,000 people during the first quarter of 2021, 2.1 million in the second quarter, 1.9 million in the third, and 250,000 in the last quarter of next year.
The government is also dealing with CureVac biopharmaceutical company to cover other 2.56 million people, 950,000 from Moderna, and up to 3.5 million people from Novavax.
The vaccine, which Moderna produced in collaboration with the US government’s “Operation Warp Speed”, is particularly attractive given it can be stored relatively easily.
It has been shown to last for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperature for up to 12 hours, and remains stable at -20C – equal to most household or medical freezers – for up to six months.
That would make storage and transportation of it more attractive than a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which was last week announced to be 90% effective at protecting people from coronavirus but needs to be stored at around -70C.
In total, the Czech Republic should supply the vaccine to up to 10.6 million people for a total cost of 4.6 billion CZK.
Many countries have already begun investing in vaccines to ensure that they have the ability to manufacture one if indeed it proves effective.
Until a vaccine is found to meet robust standards of safety and effectiveness, the public must continue to take necessary actions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including following the hands, face, space guidance and other public health advice.