About 20,000 doses of Moderna will arrive in the Czech Republic by the end of January, which is far fewer than the expected 80,000 doses. The vials should arrive around Jan. 22, Health Minister Jan Blatný told the Tn.cz news platform.

“Our current information, which has not yet been definitively confirmed, is that the delivery of vaccines will reach the Czech Republic in January,” said Blatný.

He added that the numbers would be lower than originally stated as he estimated the January delivery at 20,000 doses. That would be enough to vaccinate 10,000 people. However, the number of doses slated for delivery may change, noted Blatný.

The European Union authorized the Moderna vaccine on Wednesday. Czechia has earlier ordered 1.9 million doses of this vaccine from the EU.

According to the Czech State Institute for Drug Control, the Moderna vaccine is intended for people over 18 years of age. It is administered in two doses 28 days apart. The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, which Czechia uses for vaccination since the end of December, also requires two doses for each person, but 21 days apart. The government’s vaccination strategy assumes that 80,000 doses should be delivered to the Czech Republic every month in the first quarter of the year. The number should rise to 278,000 doses per month from April to September. However, these estimates change a lot.

The Moderna vaccine does not need such low storage temperatures as the Pfizer-BioNTech one. The company states that at temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, it lasts 30 days, while at temperatures of negative 25 to 15 degrees Celsius, it can last up to half a year. Therefore, the Moderna vaccine could get to smaller vaccination centers that do not have the necessary equipment to store the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Other planned vaccines have not yet been approved. However, Czechia has already ordered through the EU 3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Title image: In this file photo dated Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, a bottle of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on a table before being utilized in Topeka, USA. The European Union’s medicines agency on Wednesday Jan. 6, 2021, gave the green light to Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine, a decision that gives the 27-nation bloc a second vaccine to use to fight the virus rampaging across the continent.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, FILE)


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