The Czech Republic will receive the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Chinese firm Sinopharm, a top official said on Wednesday night.
On Prime Minister Andrej Babis’ request, President Milos Zeman had approached China for supply of the vaccine, according to Jiri Ovcacek, a spokesperson for the president.
“According to a report by the Czech Embassy in Beijing, the Chinese side decided to comply with this request immediately,” he said on Twitter.
The Czech Republic will be the second member of the European Union after Hungary to use the Chinese vaccine.
The country is also set to get an additional 100,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the EU, according to Prime Minister Babis.
“Thanks to EU solidarity and the Commission’s SOS mechanism, the Czech Republic will receive an extra 100,000 doses of @pfizer next week. This will speed up vaccination and help beat the virus,” he said.
“My deepest thanks to the Commission, @vonderleyen [Ursula von der Leyen] and all Member States. It means a lot to us!”
The Czech Republic had the highest per-capita infection rate in the world in mid-February, according to data from the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC).
The country of some 11 million registered 1,124 cases per 100,000 people between Feb. 8 and Feb. 22, ECDC figures show.
Authorities reported 15,088 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, raising the overall count to over 1.28 million.
There were 93 more fatalities in the country, taking the death toll to 21,128, while recoveries increased by 288 to cross 1.1 million.
Some 8,231 COVID-19 patients are currently under treatment in the Czech Republic, according to latest figures.
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