Czech Government Plans To Buy 3 Million Doses of Coronavirus Vaccine
At a press conference following Monday’s government meeting, Health Minister Roman Prymula announced that the Czech Republic would buy three million doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the company AstraZeneca, for CZK 152 million. Photo credit: Freepik / for illustrative purposes.
Czech Rep., Oct 5 (BD) – The European Union has negotiated the bulk acquisition of the coronavirus vaccine with AstraZeneca, among other companies, and the Czech Republic is entitled to seven million doses. The Czech government has decided to buy less than half, to keep a reserve for purchases from other manufacturers.
“Three million doses means we can cover 1.5 million people,” said Prymula on Monday, according to the Czech news website iDnes.cz. He indicated that some of these vaccines would be available in the Czech Republic in December.
Vaccines are currently being developed by several countries and pharmaceutical companies; the vaccine from AstraZeneca is one of those furthest through the testing and approval process.
On October 1st, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) reported that its Human Medicines Committee (CHMP) had started the first “rolling review”, of a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with the University of Oxford.
It is not yet clear when the EMA will complete the evaluation of the new vaccine, but the parallel continuous review of part of the testing data should make the process shorter than the standard approval procedure. “Before approval, all vaccines in the EU are evaluated against the same high standards as any other medicine. What is different for COVID-19 vaccines is that speed of development and potential approval is much faster due to the public health emergency,” explains the EMA on its website.
The final decision will be made by the European Commission on the recommendation of EMA.
“The start of the rolling review means that the committee has started evaluating the first batch of data on the vaccine, which come from laboratory studies (non-clinical data). This does not mean that a conclusion can yet be reached on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, as much of the evidence is still to be submitted to the committee,” according to the website.
The EMA adds that in the EU there are currently “no vaccines approved to prevent or treat any of the human coronavirus infections.”
On Monday Prymula also said he would present a plan for both short-term and long-term measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, to be announced on Friday. The Government Council for Health Risks will discuss the options for new measures on Tuesday.