Voluntary vaccination against COVID-19 for students will most likely start with graduates and vocational schools where students attend job-specific training and thus are in contact with a larger number of other people, the daily Večernji List reported on Tuesday. .
Meetings on this topic will be held in the following days, after which the final decisions will be announced.
Voluntary vaccination of children against COVID-19 began in Croatia in June, after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved vaccines for children and young people in late May. Initially, it covered children who were at risk due to chronic heart, lung, and lung diseases.
The benefits of vaccination outweigh the possible side effects, said Dr Goran Tešović from Zagreb’s Fran Mihaljević Hospital for Infectious Diseases, adding that it is justified to provide vaccination to school children.
Professor Nenad Ban, a molecular biologist at the Zurich Institute of Technology (ETH), has said that the adolescent population that can currently be vaccinated makes up only three to five percent of the total population and that vaccination will not play a decisive role in slowing the spread of the infection, the daily newspaper reported, noting that the responsibility for vaccination falls on adults.
At the same time, the Croatian Nursing Council (HKMS) again called on its members to be vaccinated against COVID-19, noting that the current vaccination rate among 71% of nurses was unsatisfactory.
“Nurses, like other health workers, must be responsible for themselves, their families and the patients they care for,” said HKMS President Mario Gazić, urging those who have not been vaccinated to do so.
He stressed that it was clear that additional education on vaccination was needed for nurses.
“Vaccination is the only way out of the epidemic that Croatia has been battling for a year and a half, and there is no doubt that it prevents the most severe forms of the disease, the need for assisted ventilation and death,” Gazic said.
In terms of vaccination rates among medical institutions, Zagreb Hospital for Infectious Diseases has the highest rate, more than 90%, as do the Hospital for Children’s Diseases in Zagreb and the hospitals in Nova Gradiška and Varaždinske Toplice.
About 8,000 nurses became infected with COVID-19 and they are waiting to receive the first dose of the vaccine, HKMS said.