20:45 / 11.02.2022.

Author: Katja Miličić

Public health officials discuss strategy to boost vaccination numbers

Only 56% of Croatia's population is vaccinated against Covid

Only 56% of Croatia's population is vaccinated against Covid

Foto: Dusko Jaramaz / PIXSELL

Health Minister Vili Beroš met on Friday with the country's leading public health experts to discuss Croatia's vaccination strategy.

Only 56% of Croatia's population is vaccinated. In addition to the public health implications, the low rate could impact the upcoming tourism season. Croatia plans to dispatch more mobile vaccination teams and offer "drive-thru" vaccination sites, said Krunoslav Capak, the director of the Croatian Public Health Bureau.

"We do have mobile teams but we've decided to beef them up a bit so that anyone who cannot go to a vaccination site for whatever reason can get vaccinated at home by one of these teams. So far, we've vaccinated around 1,400 people in their homes and we still have 400 to 500 requests to fulfill because we only have 5 mobile teams,” said Capak.

Much of the problem lies in in rural areas where less than 40 percent of the population is vaccinated in 120 municipalities.

Asked by reporters whether they thought mistakes had been made in the vaccination campaign, both Capak and Beroš said they did not believe so.

“I would not say that we made a mistake. We did the best we could in the campaign,” said Capak.

Health Minister Vili Beroš also believes that he did not fail in organizing the vaccination campaign and says he does not feel responsible.

"What's most important in my view right now, is how many people are in intensive care and on ventilators. I believe that on the global level, this is going to be the trend. The number of new daily cases is no longer as relevant as it once was,” Beroš said.

Rapid antigen tests for COVID have been distributed to most schools as part of a new testing strategy to reduce unnecessary quarantining. Students will self-test once a week. Parents who refuse testing can sign a statement agreeing to quarantine their child if he or she is exposed to someone infected with the virus.

Croatia reported 7,578 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday. Around 5 thousand cases were detected by PCR tests and the rest by rapid antigen tests. Another 44 people have died. Hospitals are treating 2,100 Covid patients.

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