Czech Republic launches new COVID-19 vaccination campaign

PRAGUE, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Czech Health Ministry on Monday announced a new campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccination amid concerns for an autumn wave of the pandemic and launched registrations for the second booster dose.

"Adults in the Czech Republic can be revaccinated with a second booster dose at a practitioner's office or without an appointment in a network of vaccination centers as of July 18... Today we are launching a reservation system for this latest dose as well, which will simplify the entire revaccination process for people," Health Minister Vlastimil Valek said in a statement.

The minister also said that the Czech Republic will not re-introduce drastic restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 during the upcoming autumn wave.

Although it is not known precisely when the autumn wave will begin, the Health Ministry hopes to launch the main part of its vaccination campaign under the slogan --"We get vaccinated to live without fear"-- in September, in public media and outdoor advertising.

"As a doctor and as a minister, I appeal to each of you to get vaccinated. Vaccines are tested and proven to reduce the risk of infection and severe cases," he tweeted.

The minister said that vaccination will "probably have to be repeated as long as the virus is with us." He also emphasized the ministry's recommendation of wearing respirators in high-risk areas, like hospitals and nursing homes.

Since COVID-19 was first detected in the Czech Republic in March 2020, there have been a total of 4,012,244 confirmed cases -- not including re-infections, as of Sunday, according to Health Ministry data. A total of 40,647 have succumbed to the virus.

Meanwhile, nearly 6.9 million people in the country, which has a population of about 10.5 million, have been fully vaccinated.

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