The first doses of Pfizer/Biontech’s coronavirus vaccine also arrived in Croatia on Dec. 27, 2020, with the first vaccinations scheduled to begin the same day. According to Krunoslav Capak, head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, this is the most important event since the beginning of the pandemic. “Starting tomorrow, we will vaccinate the most vulnerable populations in the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia. After that, we will receive new doses every week, which we expect according to the vaccination plan,” Capak said during a press conference.
Vaccination plan established according to need
Initially, the plan is to vaccinate employees as well as residents of nursing homes and health care professionals, then all persons over 65 years of age and all persons with chronic diseases, and finally the entire population, the statement added. This also seems urgent, as Croatia is among the EU countries most affected by the virus on the day that vaccine doses against the coronavirus were first issued, with a 14-day incidence of 1113.2. Incidentally, Austria’s 14-day incidence is 397.9, Italy’s is 371.6, Slovenia’s is 965.6, and Germany’s is 393.9.
Target: 70% of population to be vaccinated
“We want at least 70 percent of our fellow citizens to be vaccinated. This will certainly reduce the pandemic that has cost many lives in Croatia and the world, Plenković said. In parallel with the first vaccinations in Croatia against the coronavirus, plans are being made to raise awareness of the new vaccine among the general public and a campaign is being launched entitled “Think of others. Get vaccinated!” This key message is intended to appeal to the social, but unspoken probably also to the economic responsibility of individual citizens, because a high level of vaccination coverage of the Croatian population against the coronavirus should also have a positive impact on tourism development in Croatia in 2021.
And because the topic of coronavirus vaccinations is always controversial, here are a few facts to keep in mind: In twelve of the 28 EU countries, there is an obligation to have children already immunized against disease. This includes, among others, Croatia. Vaccinations are given against polio, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hib, hepatitis B, measles, mumps and chickenpox, among others. Individuals who fail to comply with mandatory vaccination requirements are subject to fines in Malta, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia, among other countries. In the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, and Slovakia, a violation of mandatory vaccination is also recorded in the medical record.
Compulsory vaccination in many EU countries
As the EU’s health authorities say vaccination readiness is declining across the EU, health ministers in Germany and Austria are already increasingly considering re-introducing a general vaccination requirement. In part, individual states in Germany had anticipated the decision: In Brandenburg, there is a legal obligation to have children vaccinated against measles. Children of vaccination refusers do not get a place in a daycare center. Meanwhile, vaccination against measles is mandatory in Germany.
Vaccinations already mandatory when traveling
And the fact that you can only travel to certain countries, especially in Asia, with active vaccination protection has long been the order of the day. Some cruises also require proof of appropriate immunization.
Dogs vaccinated – humans not?
Without wanting to take sides for one side or the other: If every dog already has to be vaccinated against rabies before crossing the border, and some countries and tour operators have long required proof of vaccination, why shouldn’t people protect themselves and others against the coronavirus? This question is welcome to be discussed further on Facebook.