Press Advisories

23. 11. 2009 10:16

Government Holds Extraordinary Meeting on Swine Flu and the EU Summit

Government discussed its approach to vaccination against swine flu and the mandate of the Czech delegation at today's European Union summit a.

The government discussed its approach to vaccination against swine flu and the mandate of the Czech delegation's at today's European Union summit at its extraordinary meeting today

At today's extraordinary meeting, Health Minister Dana Jurásková made public how the Czech Republic will proceed with vaccination against the flu caused by the Pandemic (H1N1) virus.

Vaccines for 95,000 people arrived in the Czech Republic on Tuesday. In coming days they will be delivered to general practitioners and vaccination centers. There will be eventually be pandemic vaccine for up to a million inhabitants; instead of the originally-planned two doses; according to the European Agency for Medicines, one dose is sufficient for most people. The state security council and then the government approved the change in the pandemic plan today. Only certain chronically ill patients will receive two doses. Antivirals have been prepared for an additional 2.5 million people. Other flu complications, most commonly bacterial pneumonia, will be treated with antibiotics.

Around 5,500 general practitioners will receive 45,000 to 50,000 doses of pandemic vaccine by the end of this week. According to the health minister, the vaccines have already been distributed. Vaccination will begin next week on the basis of a list which general practitioners will receive from health insurers.

Chronically ill patients at increased risk of infection will be vaccinated first, followed by doctors, nurses and health care workers at infectious disease clinics, and then people necessary to ensure the operation of the state – firemen, police, members of crisis task forces, people providing transportation, energy, water management and employees of regional government management bodies. Their turn will come in December. “We have expanded the diagnostic groups and for certain diseases we have refined the criteria for vaccination; not only persons with heavy forms of illness, but also middle forms of illness,” Minister Jurásková said. The strategy may still develop, especially for children's illnesses. It is the age group from 16 to 24 that is most afflicted, according to Czech Republic Chief Hygienist Michael Vít.


“No drama, no crisis will take place in the Czech Republic. The virus is readable. It is behaving the same consistently. The clinical course is easy for the vast majority of patients,” Minister Dana Jurásková said at a press conference. According to Czech Republic Chief Hygienist Michael Vít, the illness level will reach 1,520 ill per 100,000 inhabitants. No region of the Czech Republic has thus far reached the epidemic threshold of 2,000 ill per 100,000 inhabitants. Vít further said that the Karlovy Vary, Hradec Králove and Moravia-Silesia regions have the greatest incidence of illness. The number of sick in the Czech Republic who have actually had the H1N1 virus confirmed is approximately 500.

A meeting will take place today between Health Minister Dana Jurásková, the flu team and regional government representatives. The meeting will relate to approaches to vaccination in individual regions.

The cabinet today also discussed the mandate of the Czech delegation at the European Union summit in Brussels. The summit, called by the Swedish presidency, takes place on the occasion of the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, which will come into effect as of 1 December of this year. The summit should decide on the persons for the “European president” and “foreign minister,” functions which are introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. At a meeting of EU foreign ministers which took place on Monday, the Swedish presidency stated that the EU had more and more candidates for these positions.

There has been speculation about Netherlands Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, current Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Junker and Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy, and the name of former Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberg has also come up in connection with the chair of the Council of the EU or the “president,” who would lead top EU meetings. A Czech candidate for the position will be decided on the spot.

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