Croatian Health Ministry Admits Mistake as Youth Invited for Vaccination

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, younger, healthier people and those without comorbidities have been receiving invitations for vaccinations at the Zagreb Fair (Zagrebacki Velesajam) since Sunday. The move should have been to fill up places that were intended for priority groups, ie those over 65 and those with comorbidities who refused to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is now being used for vaccination at the aforementioned Zagreb vaccination point.

This draws us to one important question, how is it possible for healthy 30-year-olds to receive calls for vaccination when those twice as old, such as 60-year-olds with diabetes and hypertension, not yet being invited?

The Croatian Health Ministry has since stated that regardless of when the application is registered on the platform, senior citizens and patients with chronic diseases have priority, and calls to younger and those without chronic diseases are sent out only in the case of those from priority groups dropping out. That is done according to an algorithm that calls upon replacement candidates based on their age and health status. However, they claim, their system encountered some technical problems.

“Due to a technical error in the automatic processing of the files for Tuesday, and only for the remaining dates, the deadlines were not filled up according to the confirmed algorithm,” they stated from the Croatian Health Ministry for Jutarnji list, emphasising that they are working hard to eliminate the error.

As for the method of calling on people and creating priority groups, the Croatian Health Ministry says that those interested in getting vaccinated who belong to the priority group of those over the age of 65 and with chronic diseases have priority regardless of the method of application. They explain that patients with chronic diseases are put on a priority list by their family doctor, and then priority by age is then automatically dealt with by the platform.

Because the platform filters by age, the Croatian Health Ministry says they are in contact with Google because they have noticed that some of the messages are going to emails categorised as promotions.

Contacts with Google

“As a last resort, due to the observed ”behaviour” of some of the e-mails, which continue to end up classified as promotion e-mails, and only if they are accessed through Google client applications, we’re in contact with Google to properly classify these messages,” they explained from the Croatian Health Ministry.

They added that the existing information system of CEZIH and the e-mail of the Ministry of Health were both upgraded last week. They added that people who should be vaccinated in the third phase and who have reported to their family doctors about the matter, will be invited when their turn comes.

“Since last week, the possibility of synchronising the lists of interested parties by family doctors with the central system of people registered via has been delivered to the platform. Regardless of the fact that the lists themselves are synchronised, it is still possible that in a situation of priority need for vaccination, family doctors can assign an appointment to a high-risk patient,” they stated.

The waiting list

They also emphasised that the ordinal number in front of the application for vaccination in the system does not represent a waiting list on the basis of which citizens receive an appointment for vaccination. It is a unique application identifier that serves to register the number of total registered interested citizens and nothing more than that.

Monday was the fourth day of mass vaccination against coronavirus at the Zagreb Fair, and it was marked by a very good response from the invited indivituals. Only in the first shift, which lasted until 13:00, 1599 invited people were vaccinated, while in the second shift, from 14:00 to 19:00, a little less than that initial number was expected.

In total, up to three thousand patients are invited for vaccination daily, although the maximum capacity of numerous vaccination points is as much as five thousand patients per day.

For more on coronavirus in Croatia, including border, travel and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of testing centres up and down the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated page.


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