The Thomayer Hospital informed directly about the delivery of new vaccines. “There are 480 ampoules of the new vaccine in total. One ampoule represents six doses. Our vaccination center will vaccinate with the new vaccine starting tomorrow, September 8,” the hospital wrote. He therefore has a total of 2,880 doses available.
The new vaccines work not only against the original strain of the coronavirus, but also against the micron variant. The Ministry of Health wants to vaccinate with them on a large scale in the coming weeks.
The so-called bivalent vaccines were approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) last week, and they are starting to be distributed to countries these days. These are modified versions of already used vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
EMA has approved modified vaccines as booster doses. In other words, boosters that are used for wider protection in adolescents and adults over 12 years of age who have already had the basic vaccination against covid.
As the European agency added at the same time, the substances used so far are still effective and will continue to be used.
“The original Comirnaty and Spikevax vaccines are still effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death associated with covid-19 and will continue to be used in vaccination campaigns across the EU, especially for primary vaccination,” she added.
Furthermore, the agency stated that it is entirely up to member states who should receive which vaccines and when. And this with regard to factors such as the rate of infection or hospitalization, the risks for the vulnerable or the availability of the vaccines themselves.
The Czech government has not yet presented any closer strategy. According to the spokesperson of the health department, Ondřej Jakob, people will be able to register for these substances as standard.
“For the administration of these vaccines, a person will be able to express interest through the Central Reservation System, even at places without registration. This is exactly the same system as any other vaccine,” he added.
How many doses do we have?
Vaccine supplies have become quite a hot topic in recent weeks. The Czechia ordered a total of almost 50 million doses and so far only applied 17 million. Many vaccines have already had to be disposed of.
The positive news is at least the commitment of the manufacturers to always supply the latest approved type of vaccines, i.e. the most modern version.
“We will very likely have three million doses of modified vaccines from the second half of September until the end of the year,” said Válek even before the approval by EMA experts.
What do we know about efficacy and safety?
According to the European controllers, the studies showed that the new vaccines “can induce strong immune responses against the BA.1 omicron as well as the original strain of the virus in previously vaccinated people.” At the same time, they proved more effective than the original agents in triggering immune responses against the BA.1 subvariant.
“The side effects observed with the modified vaccines were comparable to those observed with the original vaccines and were generally mild and short-lived,” he adds in his opinion.
In addition to the already known information, the EMA relies on two studies. The first was conducted in adults over the age of 55 who had previously received three doses of Comirnata. She found that the immune response to BA.1 was higher after the second booster of the modified vaccine than it was in the case of the original version of the substance.
The study included a total of 1,800 people, of whom 300 received the modified vaccine. A second study examining 600 people aged 18 to 55 also came up with the same results.