ZAGREB, 19 February (Hina) – A total of 23,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 16,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 52,658 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to arrive next week, when the second round of vaccination against COVID-19 begins, Croatian Public Health Institute head Krunoslav Capak said on Friday.
A total of 33,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Croatia on Friday, and by the end of March more than 700,000 are expected to arrive if everyone honours their obligations, Capak said at a news conference of the national COVID-19 response team.
1.3 million people to get vaccinated
It is difficult to forecast when the second round of vaccination will be completed because there are around 1.3 million people who are in the group whose turn it is now to get vaccinated – people above 65 and people with chronic diseases, said Capak.
Eleven cases of the British coronavirus strain have been confirmed so far, and the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) has been conducting screening tests since Thursday. The first 17 samples have been tested, including 10 that are believed to be the new virus strain.
The samples have been sent to the Zagreb Hospital for Infectious Diseases and to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the HZJZ will be able to test several dozen samples a week that way, Capak said.
Number of new infections slightly higher than week ago
Today, for the first time in more than a month the number of new infections is slightly higher than a week ago. The number of active cases, nonetheless, is 5% down from the previous week, the incidence being 111.4 per 100,000 population. The incidence is highest in Split-Dalmatia County and lowest in Istria County, Capak said.
Health Minister Vili Beroš said that so far reports on vaccination had been submitted by 156 health institutions, which is 92% of all health institutions. Reports that have been requested due to out-of-turn vaccination will be considered by a special expert commission.
Commenting on President Zoran Milanović’s statement that, figuratively speaking, he would “order the vaccine even from the Chechen mafia in necessary”, Beroš said that the president must have been speaking figuratively and that the government had to procure vaccines in a legal way, with all options being legal and transparent.
The head of the team, Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović, commented on the introduction of COVID passes, saying that the government would do its best so that Croatia could have a successful tourist season.
“This is a sensitive issue because Europe has warned against discrimination, and our position will be a practical one. Talks will definitely intensify on relaunching the tourism industry so that we could have a more successful tourist season than last year. In 2020 we achieved 50% of the results from the record year 2019, which puts us before all our friends in Europe,” said Božinović.
Fight against consequences of COVID-19 will be long
The head of the Zagreb Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Alemka Markotić, said that the fight against the consequences of the COVID-19 disease would be long.
“There are a lot of people infected with the virus, their condition is being monitored… manifestations of the clinical picture in the first wave were different from those in the winter wave, when we had many patients with lung thrombosis, fibrosis and severe pneumonia. I believe that we will be fighting with the consequences of COVID-19 for many years to come,” she said.