19:10 / 13.07.2021.

Author: Katja Miličić

No-appointment vaccinations available in Zagreb

More locations are offering the vaccine without an appointment

More locations are offering the vaccine without an appointment

Foto: Ilustracija/Damir Spehar / Pixsell

Croatia reported 83 new coronavirus infections and two COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday. The test positivity rate is below 2%. 

Zagreb has been leading the vaccination push. Three vaccination sites in the city were offering the first dose without an appointment today. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was available at the Dom Sportova location. The single-dose feature of this vaccine is appealing to people who need to travel in the near future.

"Honestly, I didn't intend to get the vaccine for a while longer but I'm a mountain guide and I lead groups on hikes in the high Alps. I decided to get the Johnson&Johnson vaccine so I don't need two doses and can travel to Slovenia, Austria, and Italy as soon as possible," said a man waiting in line at the vaccination site.

Another man said he was getting the vaccine to prevent reinfection.

"I decided to get vaccinated because I had a pretty bad case of COVID. I'm very aware that it's no joke. If it helps and it probably will prevent me from getting infected with another variant of the coronavirus."

The Dom Sportova site is planning to offer the J&J vaccine for the next three days. So, far around 33 thousand Croatians have received this vaccine which comes into full effect 22 days after the shot.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has again said that his government would not make COVID vaccination mandatory for everyone, but they are considering a vaccine mandate for health care workers, social workers and educators.

"In the health care sector, the most important sector, the vaccination rate among doctors is very good, around 80%, while for nurses and other staff it is a bit lower but we've seen some progress there. Then we have the entire social welfare sector that includes nursing homes. And lastly, we have the third sector, which is especially important come this fall, and that's our schools."

Croatia is considering mandating vaccination for health care workers the way that France and Greece have done. Some doctors, like Dr. Antonija Balenović, who was working at the Dom Sportova vaccination site on Tuesday, said this was a good idea but she added that before doing that clear criteria must be drawn up for people who have had COVID and what were acceptable anti-body levels in such cases. Just below 40% of Croatia's population has been fully vaccinated. The country has administered nearly 3 million doses of the four EU-approved vaccines.

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