The Czech Republic’s vaccination campaign appears to be stalling as the country’s infection numbers are rising again.
Although the Czech Republic’s vaccination rate is higher than in some other Central and Eastern European countries, it is below the EU average.
As of September 13, some 56.1% of the population has had at least one dose, compared with 52.9% on August 1. And 54.6% of the population is now fully vaccinated, up from 45.4% on August 1 and compared with the EU average of 60.3%.
This means, however, that only 1.6% of the population is awaiting their second-jab, with more than two-fifths of the country not having yet received their first injection.
According to data collated on the opendatalab.cz website, an open-source project by the Czech Technical University, only 26,007 people have registered on the government’s booking portal and await vaccination, although the authorities have opened walk-in centres where registration is not necessary, in some parts of the country.
The vaccination rate peaked in mid-June when about 0.9 doses per 100 people were administered daily. On September 8, it was down to just 0.13 doses per 100 people.
Although there are only 96 patients admitted to intensive care, according to a statement made by Health Minister Adam Vojtech on September 9, he warned that the Czech Republic will soon be hit by a new wave of COVID-19.
“With a colder season coming and with increased population mobility due to recently opened schools on September 1, we can expect incidence to rise further,” Madar said. “It will bring to hospitals with more severe forms, especially those who did not go through COVID in the past and decided not to vaccinate.”
What most analysts agree on is that the government is unlikely to tighten pandemic restrictions this month, as the ruling ANO party is set to contest a close election in early October and lockdowns have proven unpopular in the Czech Republic.
What happens post-election, especially if the vaccination campaign continues to stall and infection numbers rise, is another matter.