Minister of Health Vili Beroš and the Director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health Krunoslav Capak at a vaccination station in Zagreb (Photo: Sanjin Strukic/PIXSELL) Minister of Health Vili Beroš and the Director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health Krunoslav Capak at a vaccination station in Zagreb (Photo: Sanjin Strukic/PIXSELL)

Vaccination of people over 65 and chronically ill patients has started in Zagreb. Besides practices of family medicine, as of this morning vaccination also took place at a sports hall in the Ksaver area of town.

Due to the first mass vaccination - in front of the hall in Zagreb's Ksaver, there were crowds as of the morning - the elderly and the chronically ill were vaccinated with the Pfizer's and AstraZeneca vaccine.

Vaccinating people, along with her colleagues was First Lady, epidemiologist Sanja Musić Milanović.

“What we know about all vaccines without exception, and I think that is most important to say, is that for any vaccine you receive, you will be protected from intensive care units, from respirators, and God forbid, a fatal ending. I think that is in all of our interests,” said First Lady Sanja Musić Milanović.

Asked whether or not citizens ask about certain vaccines and if they perhaps prefer one in relation to the other, the First Lady said that, interestingly, they don't. She noted that people like to know which vaccine they were vaccinated with, but she added that in that regard she had no comments for now.

Citizens of Zagreb who wait in line for vaccination have been told by the Croatian Institute of Public Health that this is only because people did not arrive on time, when they were invited, and it was planned to vaccinate from 60 to 70 people every half hour.

“You can't influence people, if a doctor of family medicine tells you to come at 12:00 or at 2:00 in the afternoon, then you don't have to come at 8:00 in the morning. That's how it is in the mentality of our people. If they come at 8:00 in the morning it doesn't mean that they will receive it earlier, or if someone comes at 2:00, and adheres to his appointment, it doesn't' mean they won't get the vaccine. Meaning all who had an appointment today, and who the doctor of family medicine called to get vaccinated, will receive the vaccine. And it's truly all the same if they receive it at 2:00 in the afternoon or at 10:00 in the morning,” said epidemiologist Diana Mayer.

“People evidently think that if they come earlier their turn will come up faster or perhaps there will be no more vaccine. In the future we will do this in a manner by which we personally call people exactly on time, meaning individually, we won't create such line ups and if need be, we will set up a number machine, so that people take a number and wait in line, but priority should be given to calling citizens by name for vaccination at a precisely defined time,” said the Director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak.

After priority vaccination of all risk groups, it will be the turn of the general population.

“We want to be ready to vaccinate the population when bigger quantities arrive, to achieve a manner and plan so that by the beginning of summer, we vaccinate over 50% of our adult population. That is realistic, and if enough quantities of the vaccine arrive, I think we can realize this,” said Minister of Health Vili Beroš.

Minister Beroš assessed the epidemiological situation in the country as relatively satisfactory - because according to the seven-day average of newly infected people, Croatia, with 79.6 per million inhabitants, is in second place, behind the top ranking country - Denmark.

Source: HRT