County Head Says Vaccination Problem Prompted by PM

Total Croatia News

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In an interview with the N1 broadcaster, Komadina said that he understood that the prime minister was not having an easy time in the current pandemic, but that by threatening that he would revoke the regional status of local public health institutes he was trying to dictate expert opinions.

“Not all of the expertise is concentrated in the government, there are experts wherever there are medical schools, and what is happening now is a consequence of delays in the adoption of the protocol on the order of vaccination,” Komadina said.

Komadina confident PM will give up his plan

He went on to say that counties were founders of regional public health institutes and that the prime minister made the statement about turning them into chapters of the national public health institute “in the heat of the moment” and that he would eventually abandon his plan if he reconsidered it.

Plenković on Tuesday commented on a proposal by Primorje-Gorski Kotar County not to vaccinate people over 60 with the AstraZeneca vaccine for some time, which prompted him to announce amendment of the Act on Teaching Institutes of Public Health.

“We must prevent county public health institutes from pursuing their own policies that are contrary to those of the World Health Organisation and the European Medicines Agency and to the position of the Croatian Public Health Institute, and from sending discouraging messages to people over the age of 65,” said the PM, announcing that the relevant law would be amended as soon as possible to prevent such cases.

No need for nervousness, accusations about politicking

Komadina said that local teaching institutes of public health had decided on their own in which order and how to vaccinate people because they lacked the relevant instructions from the state.

“Now those instructions have arrived and I don’t see any reason for nervousness on the part of PM Plenković or for accusations about politicking,” he said.

Komadina said that the county public health institute had vaccinated people with available vaccines, that it did not refuse to vaccinate anyone and had only given recommendations as to which categories of the population could be vaccinated.

“Before the instruction from the state level, the county institute called people under 60 with chronic diseases. The next round of vaccination will be in line with the recommendation of the national COVID-19 response team,” he said, noting that the situation was similar in many other EU countries and that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had said that people above the age of 55 would not be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Next round of vaccination in line with national response team’s recommendations 

“I consider that ambiguity resolved now and the next round of vaccination will proceed in line with the national COVID-19 response team’s recommendations,” he stressed.

Komadina noted that the head of the county institute of public health, Vladimir Mićović, was a professor of epidemiology and had extensive experience in the field. 

“People have the right to their own opinion and one should not hold it against them,” he said.

Mićović said on Monday that family doctors in the county had been recommended, if a doctor or a patient were uncertain regarding the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine, to vaccinate slightly younger people, of 60 years of age or younger.

According to information on the characteristics of the vaccine, it is clearly stated that there are no doubts regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine in that category of the population, he said.

“It was our suggestion that they should vaccinate all elderly people… but that if they have certain doubts… to vaccinate slightly younger categories of people with chronic and serious diseases,” Mićović said at the time.


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