Health Minister Jan Blatný assured the public on Wednesday that the country will have a sufficient amount of COVID-19 vaccines after it was recently reported that the Czech government only ordered 80% of EU-allocated doses.
The initial decision to order fewer vaccine batches than what was available was made by two former health ministers, but since then the Czech Republic has secured more doses, the health minister said. According to Blatný, up to six million Czechs could get the vaccine by June, with the number climbing to eight million by September.
Blatný’s predecessor, Roman Prymula, has argued that the government did not intend to spend taxpayers money needlessly when it was unclear whether the producers would successfully finish the development process and get authorisation from European Medicines Agency (EMA), daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Wednesday.
However, as the Supreme Audit Office concluded on Monday, the same government bought overpriced protective equipment and medical supplies at the beginning of the crisis.
These unanswered questions are probably why Prime Minister Andrej Babiš was contemplating using the Russian and Chinese vaccines and calling on the EU to change its vaccine distribution key so the Czech Republic could have more doses to begin with. (Ondřej Plevák | EURACTIV.cz)