From Monday, the assumed period of immunity for people who have had Covid-19 was extended from 90 to 180 days. In addition, the first dose of vaccination is now considered as proof of immunity after three weeks. Photo: Minister of Health Petr Arenberger at the press conference, May 21. Credit: Vlada.cz.
Czech Rep., May 25 (BD) – Changes to the Ministry of Health’s emergency measures were approved by the government last Friday. One change is that the first dose of vaccine is now considered as protection against the disease from three weeks after it has been administered, equivalent to antigen or PCR tests.
“So the very good news is that you don’t have to wait for the second dose to be given in this system and then the recommended fourteen days have passed,” said Minister of Health, Petr Arenberger. “Of course, the first dose in those two-dose regimens will not suffice permanently. There is a certain limitation, a similar regime as in Austria or Hungary, for example.”
A corresponding period of 22 days after the first dose of vaccination was also agreed between the Czech Republic and neighboring countries to allow travel without the need for a test or quarantine. This has been recognized by Austria, Germany, Poland, and Slovenia since last Saturday, and Slovakia is also set to join.
Daniel Dražan, a member of the committee of the Czech Vaccinologist Society, told Czech Television that the move does not match the society’s recommendations, which still recognize immunity as developing up to 14 days after the second dose of vaccination. Dražan said he assumes that the change is to motivate people to be vaccinated, which may have a positive effect at a time when the epidemic is weakening.
Another change approved at the government meeting means that the expiration of immunity after having Covid-19 has been extended from 90 to 180 days. However, it is still possible to be vaccinated after 90 days from the last positive test, said Arenberger.
The government also considered a draft amendment to the laws on the protection of public health, which would allow supplementing the scope of data that authorities can use when performing tasks in the area of prevention and issuing digital green certificates to those who have been vaccinated, tested, or who have undergone the virus. The Ministry of Health announced that the certificate will soon be available on the website of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics, and in the future also at CzechPoints.
Discussions on the Digital Green Certificate are continuing at the meeting of the European Council on Monday and Tuesday this week in Brussels.