Clinical Study To Provide Clarity Over Development of Vaccination Program By End of August
Yesterday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš released a video on Twitter, saying that a decision will be taken by the end of August whether to accept antibodies as proof of immunity against Covid-19, and whether a third dose of the vaccine will be given to vulnerable groups, based on the results of a clinical study. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.
Czech Rep., Aug 9 (BD) – On Sunday, August 8th, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš released a video on Twitter, saying that a decision will be taken by the end of August whether to include recognition of antibodies as proof of immunity against Covid-19, and whether a third dose of the vaccine should be given to vulnerable groups. According to Babiš, a clinical study will be carried out in the Moravian-Silesian and Ústí nad Labem regions, overseen by a professional round table.
“We have to decide by the end of August what will happen with revaccination and with the recognition or non-recognition of antibodies. So far, only Austria has this,” said Babiš. He noted that the experts did not agree on the issue. “Studies suggest that elderly people who were vaccinated five or six months ago have a significant drop in antibody levels, and seniors who have overcome Covid-19 have high antibody levels,” he added.
According to Babiš, if the decision is taken to recognize antibodies, some people may be motivated to get vaccinated if they found they had few antibodies.
According to Czech daily, České noviny, Deputy Health Minister Martina Koziar Vašáková told reporters at the end of July that experts did not recommend recognizing antibodies against Covid-19 as proof of immunity, as a person who has antibodies can still get sick. On the contrary, a negative test for antibodies does not mean that an individual is not protected from infection with Covid. According to Roman Chlibek, the Chair of the Vaccinology Society, antibodies are also no reason why someone should not be vaccinated, as the value of antibodies is reduced more slowly following vaccination than following a course of the disease.
Babiš also said that the 12 mobile vaccination teams currently in operation will be joined by a further 10 next week. “They are working great in the Moravian-Silesian and Karlovy Vary regions, and are being prepared for the Ústí nad Labem and Olomouc regions,” he said. The prime minister also asked companies to allow their staff to be vaccinated by the mobile teams with short-term leave.
According to the Prime Minister, 673,496 people are currently awaiting vaccination, of which 43,354 are waiting for the first dose. 10,652,947 doses of the vaccine had been administered in the Czech Republic by Saturday evening, and almost 5.07 million people are fully vaccinated. Babiš also encouraged the use of walk-in vaccination facilities that do not require registration, of which there are now 88 across the country.
“Most people who come do not have the internet, do not want to register, or often do not even have a general practitioner,” he said. “And it is not true that these are social cases.” Many people did not register for vaccination, he said, because they did not have time.