Vaccination against covid-19?
What is the general purpose for vaccination?
The main goal of vaccination is to lower the spread of the covid-19 disease in the population, to protect individuals from the disease, to prevent reinfection, to achieve long-term protective effect and effectiveness in case of further pandemic waves.Vaccination should be carried out in accordance with the national vaccination strategy, which was professionally designed by the Czech Society of Vaccination ČLS JEP, consulted by the clinical group of Covid II MZ and approved by the National Immunization Commission of the Czech Republic. First, the vaccine needed to be registered for use in the EU, then it needs to be available in the Czech Republic, before it gets into a regular medical practice following the national vaccination strategy.
Vaccine development and testing
Vaccine development speculations are taking place since the beginning of the pandemic. The basic principle is whether the active substance against covid-19 will be found, and how long it will take, and which manufacturer will offer the vaccination product first. The highest priority in vaccine development is the vaccine safety for the human body. According to the WHO, there are currently more than 100 candidates developing the covid-19 vaccine, with only some of them being in the testing phase in humans. The vaccine development is a long process, mainly due to the clinical testing phase, and it involves several phases:
1. Preparation of case studies and formulation of pharmaceutical drug and possible components
2. Laboratory testing, clinical testing on human volunteers, where research is performed focused on safety and efficacy of the drug
3. Evaluation of results testing
4. Vaccine production
The below vaccines are currently being discussed:
- American company Pfizer in cooperation with the German company BioNTech (genetic mRNA vaccine) with an efficiency of 94%
- American company Moderna (genetic mRNA vaccine) with an efficiency of 94.1%
- Astra Zeneca in collaboration with Oxford University (vector vaccine) with an efficiency of 70%
Following the legislation, vaccines are compulsorily registered centrally and the authorization is granted by the European Commission based on the expert evaluation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). EMA has received submission for registration of two vaccines, one from Pfizer and the second from Moderna. EMA has freshly approved Pfizer vaccine to be used across EU. US Federal Drug and Food administration (FDA) has just approved vaccine from Moderna company and USA wil be the first country to use this vaccine.
Vaccines for the Czech Republic
Czech massmedia informed that the Czech Republic has ordered 6.9 million vaccines with expected delivery from end od December, and continually during the first and second quarter 2021. There is a reserve order for up to 10 million more people. Therefore, the Czech Republic has sufficient amount of vaccines for all inhabitants. The vaccine will not be available for children usage, as the clinical testing and evaluation has been conducted only in adults so far.
As long as the amount of vaccines is limited, the government expects to conduct gradual vaccination in few stages, following the below list of the most vulnerable or exposed groups. This choice has been made by experts so that vaccines are distributed fairly, ethically and transparently. There has been 7 groups introduced:
- Chronically ill patients and persons aged 65 and over
- Medical workers
- Social service workers and clients
- General practitioners, general practitioners for children and adolescents, dentists, pharmacists
- Critical infrastructure workers - integrated rescue system, energy workers, government, crisis staffs
- Other staff of public health authorities
- General public interested in vaccination
It will be necessary to specify the amount of vaccine doses based on the amount of people in each indication group, which is managed by ÚZIS (Institution for health information and statistics) in cooperation with health insurance companies. According to Zdenek Blahuta, new vaccination coordinator, vaccination should be primarily carried out by specialised vaccination centers and later on carried onto GP offices. It is recently talked about that vaccination should be voluntary and free of charge, it should be covered from the public health insurance. Vaccination is primarily for people who did not have covid-19, but also for those who already had covid-19. Majority of vaccines requires two doses in order to gain the immunity and these should be applied 3-4 weeks apart.
We watch the vaccine updates daily. We will inform you as soon as we will have new information related when vaccination is available.
The article has used follwing sources:
www.mzcr.cz, www.koronavirus.mzcr.cz, www.szu.cz, www.who.com, www.ema.com, www.pfizer.com, www.pfizer.cz, www.modernatx.com, www.astrazeneca.com, www.reuters.com, www.novinky.cz