The European Commission will provide 70,000 vaccines to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Moldova to vaccinate the children of Ukrainian refugees, the EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides announced.
Three hundred thousand Ukrainian refugees have already arrived in the Czech Republic – where 10 million inhabitants currently reside. Almost half of the refugees are children, and many of them do not have vaccinations against certain childhood diseases or tetanus. Thus, the EU will provide vaccines and distribute them between the three affected countries.
Healthcare services for Ukrainian refugees, particularly children, became a hot issue for the Czech Republic as the country faces medical professional shortages. Czech children’s practitioners are already treating the first arrivals and preparing for the next wave of young patients. Children come in with colds, high temperatures, diarrhoea, and some are exhausted and traumatised.
Regarding vaccination against dangerous diseases, the situation is even more complicated as the refugees often arrive in Czechia without vaccination certificates or with certificates in Ukrainian.
The EU Health Ministers and Kyriakides also discussed on Tuesday (29 March) the coordination of the distribution of patients to countries with the most appropriate equipment or sufficient spare capacity to treat them.
“We have already secured 10,000 beds and transferred paediatric patients and people in need of special care, and we will do more,” Kyriakides told reporters.
During the meeting, Czech Health Minister Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09) backed Poland’s proposal that the EU help finance care for Ukrainian patients in the most heavily burdened states, including Czechia and Poland.
“The Czech Republic is already registering a large increase in patients requiring very expensive care,” said Válek, quoted by the Czech News Agency, adding that this includes people with cystic fibrosis.