Minister: Croatia Slowly but Surely Entering Second Vaccination Phase

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Speaking to the press at a vaccination point in Zagreb, Beroš said he was “sure that such mass vaccination points will absolutely support the realisation of our vaccination plan and programme.”

He said vaccination points were “necessary, perhaps not at the moment because we still don’t have the quantities we are expecting.”

Beroš said larger vaccine quantities would enhance attempts to vaccinate priority groups and underlined the plan to vaccinate over 50% of the adult population by summer. “That’s realistic and I think we can make it happen if sufficient vaccine quantities arrive.”

“Such mass vaccination is an easier way to organise and manage vaccine quantities, Beroš said, adding that the epidemiological situation was “relatively satisfactory.”

“In terms of the seven-day average of new infections per million inhabitants, Croatia is second (in the EU) after Denmark” with the lowest incidence.

Beroš went on to say that a commission checking hospital documentation on vaccination was meeting today following reports of out-of-turn vaccination.

Commenting on a survey showing that over 15,000 health workers would not be vaccinated, the minister said he was confident that doctors believed in scientific methods and vaccination.

“However, there are many non-health workers in hospitals. Directors have been instructed to influence everyone, not by coercing, of course, but by explaining the need for vaccination.”

Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) Krunoslav Capak recalled that family doctors in Zagreb began vaccinating their patients yesterday.

Speaking at the same vaccination point, he said, “This is a contribution to show what we can do and how we will organise vaccination in future when we have bigger quantities which, unfortunately, are still not arriving.”

He said that as many people at risk of serious illness as possible should be vaccinated. “After that we will begin vaccinating the general population, younger people without underlying conditions. We hope we will succeed in vaccinating 50% of the population… by June.”

Capak said a vaccination registration platform would be launched soon and that it would significantly facilitate vaccination.

He said that in future people would be called to come to be vaccinated so as to avoid crowds. He added that the HZJZ vaccination clinic was demolished in the March 2020 earthquake and that at the moment they could not vaccinate more than 30-40 people daily.

Epidemiologist Bernard Kaić said bars with outdoor terraces could reopen on 1 March. Capak added that he thought there were no obstacles to holding a broader debate on the matter and to allowing them to reopen.

Vjekoslav Jeleč, head of the Zagreb city health office, said about 500 people in the capital were vaccinated against COVID every day.


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