European nations launched a massive vaccination drive on Sunday, with pensioners and medics lining up to take the first shots to see off the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 1.7 million lives worldwide.
With surveys pointing to high levels of hesitancy about the vaccine in different countries, the Czech government launched a video promoting the vaccination.
“We cried, but now we want to live, and we will live as before! Thanks to vaccination,” the video says.
In the Czech Republic, the first dose of the vaccine was administered to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, while the second dose was given to war veteran Emilia Řepíková.
In the second phase, will be vaccinated government members, general practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, and state emergency services (firefighters, police, etc.).
According to the forecast of the Ministry of Health, vaccination of the general public (stage three) should begin in May 2021.
The Czech parliament approved a government bill allowing voluntary vaccination against Covid-19 to be covered by public health insurance, and also outlining possible compensation for any damage caused by vaccination.
Vaccination will be “voluntary and free” and it is planned for over 5.5 million people, or 60-70% of the total Czech population of 10.7 million (according to June 2020 data from the Czech Statistical Office).