Almost a quarter of a year after the vaccination against covid-19 was started, the city of Brno has the largest vaccination center in the country. The large university hospital there, which, in cooperation with the municipality and the South Moravian Region, operates a high-capacity center at the Brno Exhibition Grounds, so far clearly leads in the number of reported vaccinations.
By Tuesday, March 16, it was almost 40,000 doses. The center recently managed to swing beyond the limit of two thousand administered doses in one day, the total capacity is up to 3600 doses.
In second place is the Prague Central Military Hospital, followed by the Ostrava University Hospital, the Bulovka University in Prague and the Hradec Králové University Hospital. The largest representation in the tables of the twenty “most efficient” vaccination centers is naturally in the capital, with the largest concentration of hospitals, which are often used by people living outside the metropolis.
Behind most of the large state hospitals, which started with vaccination first, there are some regional hospitals, led by hospitals in Karlovy Vary, Ústí nad Labem and České Budějovice.
TOP 20 vaccination centers in the Czech Republic (according to the number of reported vaccinations as of March 16)
2. Central Military Hospital (Prague) 28 442
4. FN Bulovka (Prague) 26 977
5. FN Hradec Králové 23 854
6. Thomayer University Hospital (Prague) 23828
7. FN U sv. Anny (Brno) 23 122
8. FN Královské Vinohrady (Prague) 22 879
10. University Hospital in Motol (Prague) 19 201
11. General University Hospital (Prague) 17 753
13. Karlovy Vary Hospital 16 257
14. Masaryk Hospital Ústí nad Labem 16 204
15. České Budějovice Hospital 15 819
16. IKEM (Prague) 14 029
17. Liberec Regional Hospital 13 881
18. Kolín Regional Hospital 11 862
19. Tomas Bata Regional Hospital (Zlín) 11 258
20. Mladá Boleslav Regional Hospital 11 086
Source: Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic
The largest in the O2 universe hall
However, the current order may soon change, as some vaccination centers, which are expected to perform well, have yet to open.
In Prague, it is mainly a vaccination center in the O2 universum hall in Vysočina, which is to be put into operation on April 11 and could, according to calculations, be able to “handle” up to 10,000 people a day.
Its operation is to be under military command, as it will formally be a deployed workplace of the Central Military Hospital.
Another large Prague center is planned to open in the coming days in the Prague Congress Center near the Vyšehrad metro station. Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) says that he could manage to vaccinate 1000 to 2000 people a day. According to him, whether the capacity will be filled will also depend on the state’s approach.
According to Hřib, state hospitals incomprehensibly treat “ground squirrels”, they say they have excess supplies. Hospitals reject his claim, the mayor would not want to use the unused route elsewhere and rather to smaller centers, in Prague and outside Prague.
“We want to centralize it less and bring it closer to people in individual city districts, where they are also used to going to see doctors,” Hřib told the News Report in recent days.
Go vaccinated with people
Even between which regions is there an informal dispute as to which strategy is more appropriate. Whether to bet on smaller centers, more accessible by transport, or the “high-flow” one, as they have in Brno. It also depends on the size of the region, population density or age structure.
Proponents of the first strategy are needed in the Zlín Region. “We have a strategy to go to people with vaccinations, we do not want to drive them to large vaccination centers, where more than 2,000 people are vaccinated every day. Outside Zlín, we want to have a maximum of medium-sized vaccination places, pleasant for people, to be in every municipality with extended powers, “said the Zlín vaccination coordinator Jiří Lučan.
He chooses a similar strategy in the Pardubice region. I provide a center outside the local regional hospital, so the hall of Jan Kašpar in the building of the regional office. “At full capacity, it could handle up to 2,800 people a week, but it will also depend on sufficient staff,” said regional vaccination coordinator Pavel Čech.
In recent days, Governor Martin Netolický (CSSD) has lamented that they can never have such a large center as, for example, their neighbors in Hradec Králové when they do not have a teaching hospital. He called on the citizens of Pardubice to guarantee ordering to vaccination centers in other regions, if it is more practical for them. He stressed that when choosing a place, it is not necessary to tie only to “your” region.
Bet on big district centers
The unequivocal supporter of centralized vaccination is the South Bohemian governor Martin Kuba (ODS). From the very beginning, they wanted big centers in all the district towns.
The České Budějovice region is at the local exhibition center and is one of the lowest in the country (it has already been vaccinated with almost 16,000 doses). Another is needed at the winter stadium in Tábor, where almost 11,000 doses were given. They are similar in Jindřichův Hradec, Písek or Strakonice.
“In my opinion, if the goal is to vaccinate as many people as possible in the shortest possible time, centralization is absolutely necessary. It is also the most effective way to get closer to the staff, “says Governor Kuba, adding that this strategy is working for them, and he believes that it will be confirmed as correct in the coming months, when the Czech Republic will be proud of far more benefits.
The first man in the region admits that it is necessary to take into account the driving distance, as in the case of remote Dačicko, but in general, according to him, this should never be the main reason. Rather, it is said that it is more appropriate, in cooperation with the mayor, to look for ways to get people to a large transport center when they cannot rely on their own family.
“Each region understands it a little differently, it’s so correct and understandable, but it must have a system to stop the pandemic, I can’t decide if someone has it three meters from their house, or five times,” Kuba also noted.
The uncertain role of practitioners
In many regions, they expect and still reckon with the fact that “white spots” on the map must be covered by general practitioners. But so far it has only partially succeeded.
It is not at all that GPs are not willing to help, the opposite is true, but the supplies of AstraZeneca clinics suitable for them weigh. In addition, there is a complicated delivery by bottle to individual surgeries (packaging can be downloaded only in hospital pharmacies). And there is also lower confidence in this vaccine, which has been suspended in some countries due to suspected negative effects.
The new Johnson & Johnson safety, delivered in only one batch, could help practitioners. It is very suitable for use in surgeries, but the first delivery to the Czech Republic is now not expected until the second half of April.
“Practitioners could help a little in many places, there is no doubt about that. Especially where there is no larger vaccination center nearby. But today, we often have nothing to divide practitioners. Personally, I think that vaccinating practitioners will not ultimately bring what everyone expected from it, “fears South Bohemian Governor Martin Kuba.
The Ministry of Health previously expects that 5,000 general practitioners will join the system and vaccinate around 50,000 people a day in total. It is with their expression of help that the republic should reach the desired state of 100,000 vaccinated people a day.
Another opinion of the Minister
Former national vaccination coordinator Zdeněk Blahuta is also a supporter of large vaccination centers. He says that because of this he also had disputes with the Minister of Health Jan Blatný (in the government for YES).
“He is sure that hospitals and practitioners can handle it. Even at the time I left the Ministry of Health – on January 25 – he was convinced that we would not need large-capacity centers. At the same time, we see how hospitals have already limited all non-civic care, canceled planned operations, set up only covid units, we are at the worst we have ever been. And should more and more staff get into vaccination centers? I can’t imagine it, “Blahuta said in a recent interview with the News List.