ZAGREB, Dec 4 (Hina) – Croatia has ordered 5.6 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, and the vaccination could start with the Pfizer vaccine, which is expected to arrive first in 125,000 doses, Croatian Public Health Institute director Krunoslav Capak said on Friday.
Speaking at a press conference of the national coronavirus response team, Capak said that the European Union had entered into negotiations with six producers, and the first agreement presented to Croatia was the one with AstraZeneca.
Croatia ordered 3.6 million doses of vaccine from that producer but was allocated 2.7 million because of the huge interest of other EU member states, so it has ordered 900,000 doses from Johnson&Johnson. After that a million doses have been ordered from Pfizer and Moderna each, and 300,000 doses from CureVac.
“Croatia has ordered 5.6 million doses of vaccine from different producers, and we have also received an offer from a company that will register its vaccine towards the end of 2021. We will order smaller quantities from it in case this is a seasonal vaccine,” Capak said.
The Pfizer vaccine could be registered by December 29, Moderna expects to have its vaccine registered early in January, so it is likely that these two vaccines will be the first to be used in Croatia, given that the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be registered slightly later in the first quarter of next year, Capak said.
“Pfizer has announced that the first batch will include 125,000 doses, so that we will be able to vaccinate 62,500 people initially, provided that the vaccine is delivered on a quarterly basis,” he added.
He said that the priority groups for vaccination would be health workers, nursing home residents and staff, and people with an increased risk of serious diseases.
“Vaccination will be free of charge and voluntary, not obligatory. It is important that as many people as possible are vaccinated to ensure collective immunity and prevent the spread of the infection,” Capak said.
He announced a campaign to promote vaccination, stressing that side effects would be closely monitored.
“I will certainly get vaccinated and I invite you to film that when the vaccine comes to Croatia,” Capak told the press, with the other members of the coronavirus response team saying that they would do the same.
Croatia has the second-highest incidence of the COVID-19 disease in the EU, after Luxembourg, and the 14th highest mortality rate, the press conference was told.