Questions and answers about vaccination

Have you recovered from covid-19 and want to register or have already registered for covid-19 vaccination ?  

If you belong to a group (based on your age, health condition or occupation) that allowed to register in the Central registration system, you can register at any time – the system will automatically identify that you have recovered from covid-19, depending on whether you’ve had a positive PCR test in the past 90 days.

If you have already registered and are waiting for a specific appointment, your registration is still valid, but we will suspend it for 90 days from the date of your positive PCR test. After this period passes, your registration will be released again and subsequently, you will be eligible to receive PIN2 to reserve a covid-19 vaccination appointment.

If you already have a covid-19 vaccination appointment, but your vaccination has not yet commenced (you fell ill before the first dose), we will automatically cancel both your reserved covid-19 vaccination appointments. Your registration will remain valid and after 90 days pass from your positive PCR test, the registration will be released and you will be eligible to receive an SMS reminder with PIN2 and an invitation to reserve new covid-19 vaccination appointments.

If you contracted covid-19 after the first dose of covid-19 vaccine, we are currently working on a technical solution to postpone your second appointment. In this case, we ask you to contact your chosen covid-19 vaccination center. They will postpone your appointment until the administration of the second dose is more appropriate.

Why is covid-19 vaccination postponed due to having suffered COVID-19?

After you recover from covid-19, your organism has developed its own antibodies against the virus and makes you immune to covid-19 for some time (you have protective immunity). 

Based on currently-available data, experts agree that this is a period of at least 90 days after recovering from covid-19. After recovering, you still have antibodies in your blood which were created while you were sick. However, new ones are not created and gradually disappear from the body. 

For this reason, Czech Vaccinology Association of the Czech Medical Association of J.E. Purkyně recommends, given the shortage of vaccines in the Czech Republic, to commence the vaccination of persons who have recovered from covid-19 at the earliest  90 days after recovering (from the first positive PCR test result), including persons with a high risk of infection. This will allow for vaccination of persons who have not yet suffered the disease and have no immunity.

Studies have proven the safety of covid-19 vaccination  for persons who have recovered from the illness, but if vaccination is administered in a relatively short time after the illness, when your body still has a higher level of antibodies, the risk of reaction (fever, fatigue) is higher. Postponing covid-19 vaccination appointment substantially reduces the risk of such a reaction. 


Registration and reservation

How can I register?
There are two steps to register for covid-19 vaccination. Both can be done at the portal crs.mzcr.cz.

The first step is registration, at the start of which you enter your telephone number. You will receive an SMS with PIN1 verification code. After entering this code, fill in your personal data and choose the covid-19 vaccination center where you want to be vaccinated.
The registration for covid-19 vaccination is carried out through the Central reservation system: crs.mzcr.cz.

The second step is booking a covid-19 vaccination appointment. When an appointment is available at the chosen covid-19 vaccination center, you will receive an invitation SMS with a PIN2 code. After entering this code, you can choose from the available date(s) and time(s) and proceed to book your first covid-19 vaccination appointment. Your second covid-19 vaccination appointment is generated automatically for the same time and day 6 weeks later (42 days, i.e. in accordance with the official covid-19 vaccination interval for Comirnaty/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines)..
You can reserve a covid-19 vaccinationappointment after registration at the link: rezervace.mzcr.cz.
The covid-19 vaccination appointment booking must be made within 48 hours after receiving your PIN2.
Reservation without an invitation SMS is not possible.

I am registered. I did not receive PIN2 code. How long will I wait?
Registration is an important step towards getting covid-19 vaccination appointment. A sufficient number of covid-19 vaccines have been ordered for all the residents of the Czech Republic. You will receive an invitation to book a covid-19 vaccination appointment once the vaccine doses are available at the vaccination center of your choice. This depends on the supplies of vaccine to the Czech Republic and the number of persons in queue before you. We are unable to estimate how long it may take before you can reserve an appointment. However, you do not have to worry about there not being enough vaccine.
You can track the capacity of covid-19 vaccination centers in the vaccination center capacity report.

How can I change the place to receive the second dose of the vaccine?
You have a right to choose your healthcare provider. The client chooses his provider in general. Hence, the place for both vaccines is the same.

I am a chronically ill patient. How do I get a code?
Outpatient healthcare specialists and specialised care centers give codes to their patients who meet the conditions for priority covid-19 vaccination via the usual means of communication (e-mail, telephone, personal visit and so on).
General practitioners do not provide codes.
A list of specialists who received codes is available here.

I am chronically ill and did not receive a code. How can I register?
The group of chronically ill persons was chosen based on the degree to which patients with the given illness are threatened by covid-19. It is possible that you don’t belong to any of these groups. The list of medical conditions selected for priority covid-19 vaccination is available here.
You can arrange covid-19 vaccination with your general practitioner. They can vaccinate you without assigning a code, outside of the central reservation system.


Priority covid-19 vaccination

I am a person caring for a chronic patient. When will it be my turn?
From 2 May, persons caring for another person with 3rd and 4th degree dependency for a sickness allowance can register for covid-19 vaccination. 
The group of carers who can receive priority covid-19 vaccination was specified, based on an expert opinion and with respect to the current progress of covid-19 vaccination campaign, to persons caring for another person with 3rd and 4th degree dependency for a sickness allowance, due to the essentiality of this care for persons with severe or complete dependency.

Why is covid-19 vaccination being open to other groups when not all the people from the previous group have been vaccinated?
Registration for the next group is open when 70% of those interested in the previous group have been vaccinated. People can naturally register gradually, which means that those over 80 years of age can register after the registration for those over 70 years of age has started, which means that there may be slight discrepancies from the given percentages.

How were the group of chronic patients who can register in the first wave chosen?
These are the diagnoses and medical conditions who are at the greatest risk of a severe course of covid-19.
The list of diagnoses and medical conditions with a high risk of a severe course of covid-19 was created by the COVID clinic group of the Ministry of Health based on recommendations from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the Robert Koch Institute and summarised UZIS data about persons with covid-19 hospitalized in ICUs.
A detailed description of diseases and medical conditions which constitute a reason for the priority vaccination in this phase was compiled by the relevant expert societies of Czech Medical Society of Jan Evangelista Purkyně and Czech Cardiological Society.
The list of diagnoses and their specification for priority covid-19 vaccination is available here.

I am over 70 years of age and a chronically ill patient. I registered from 1 March and I have now received a code from an outpatient healthcare specialist. Should I register again?
If you are over 70 years of age and have already registered for covid-19 vaccination, do not register again. You do not have to use the code from the outpatient healthcare specialist.

How does priority work within the Central reservation system? Will chronic patients have priority over me, even if I am over 70 years of age?
The system works on the basis of assigned priority in the methodical instruction table. The higher the number of risk points (rizikové skóre), the earlier the vaccination. Persons over 70 years of age will have priority over chronic patients. On the contrary, persons aged 65 – 69 have lower priority than chronic patients.

I am a chronically ill patient. How can I tell if I can get covid-19 vaccinated?
Selected groups of chronic patients were sent special codes by outpatient healthcare specialists to register into the registration system.
The specific medical condition was taken into account by the outpatient healthcare specialists when sending out codes; theseare specified in this table.


For those interested in covid-19 vaccination

Who can get covid-19 vaccinated right now?
Persons over 30 years of age, all healthcare professionals and persons with chronic diseases or a medical condition at high risk of a severe course of covid-19 can register for vaccination.
University academic employees can also register.

Will everybody have a chance to get covid-19 vaccinated?
Yes. The Czech Republic has ordered enough covid-19 vaccines for all of its residents.

Who is covid-19 vaccination suitable for?
All covid-19 vaccines are developed primarily for adults. In order to acquire collectively immunity, it is necessary to vaccinate 65-70% of the population.

How much will covid-19 vaccination cost?
Covid-19 vaccination is non-mandatory and free for individuals who are insured in public healthcare system of the Czech  Republic or another EU member state.

Can children get the vaccine?
Comirnaty covid-19 vaccine is designated for persons 16 years or older, Moderna covid-19 vaccine for persons 18 years or older. AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine is for persons 18 years or older, as is Janssen vaccine.

Why get covid-19 vaccinated?
Vaccines against covid-19 are medicines that prevent the illness caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, by causing an immune response to the virus. covid-19 can cause a serious disease with potential, as yet unknown long-term consequences or death in persons of any age, including otherwise healthy people.
Vaccination is the most effective way to stop the epidemic spreading here and in the world over the long term. The introduction of vaccines in the past has helped to reduce or even eradicate a number of diseases (e.g. smallpox, polio, diphtheria).
The application of a vaccine is a path towards the prevention of a serious or even fatal illness with covid-19.
Everybody who is vaccinated helps to protect those who cannot be vaccinated because of their medical condition.
Work incapability because of covid-19 means major financial losses for a regular family. In the case of complications arising from this disease, hospitalisation is of course required, typically followed by recovery. The vaccine will prevent all this.


For those covid-19 vaccinated

I am covid-19 vaccinated. How do I get my certificate?
The issued certificate serves as confirmation that you have been covid-19 vaccinated. Primarily, if you have provided your e-mail address and your telephone number in your registration for covid-19 vaccination appointment, you will receive the certificate by e-mail once your covid-19 vaccination is completed. Second option is though covid-19 vaccination portal created by
UZIS/Institute of Health Information and Statistics – ocko.uzis.cz, where each citizen can easily check their covid-19 vaccination vaccination. You can also view and download the certificate of performed covid-19 vaccination. Last but not least, you can request the certificate at your covid-19 vaccination center.


Covid-19 Vaccination of foreigners

Are foreign nationals entitled to covid-19 vaccination?

Foreign nationals insured within the Czech public health insurance system (e.g. because they perform gainful activity or based on European coordination regulations) are entitled to free covid-19 vaccination under the same conditions as Czech citizens. These persons register using their insurance ID number or assigned personal number, which they obtain from any Czech health insurance company.

Foreign nationals insured in another European Union member state, who are entitled to full care in the Czech Republic (holders of claim document S1) are also entitled to free covid-19 vaccination.  These persons register using the insurance ID which they obtain after the so-called assisted registration with one of the seven Czech health insurance companies.

Both foreign nationals and Czech citizens who are entitled to essential care in the Czech Republic based on a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are also entitled. These persons register using the insurance ID which they obtain after the so-called assisted registration with one of the seven Czech health insurance companies.

Citizens of third countries with long-term residence in the Czech Republic, who do not participate in the public health insurance system and have concluded mandatory commercial insurance will be able to register for covid-19 vaccination in June, however they will need to pay for the vaccination themselves.


Covid-19 Vaccines

When will covid-19 vaccine  be available?
On 21 December 2020, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended granting conditional registration to covid-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer. The European Commission then approved this registration.
On 6 January 2021, the European Commission issued a decision granting conditional registration to the vaccine from Moderna. This is the second covid-19 vaccine that can be used in the European Union.
On 29 January 2021, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommendedAstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine for registration. The European Commission conditionally registered the vaccine. This vaccine was subsequently renamed to Vaxzevria.
The Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson was approved by the European Commission on 11 March 2021.

What do we know about how these vaccines function?
The BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines belong to the group of mRNA vaccines. mRNA is a new technology, but not unknown: scientists have been researching it for the past 30  years. This technology has already been used to prepare vaccines not only against viruses (e.g., the flu virus, Zika virus, rabies virus and cytomegalovirus), and against certain types of malign tumors.

The vaccines by AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson are adenovirus vaccines. They work by preparing the organism so that it can defend itself against a covid-19 infection. The vaccine comprises another virus (an adenovirus) that was modified in such a way that it cannot in any way reproduce and contains the gene for creating the SARS-CoV-2 protein spike. The spike protein is a protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that the virus needs so that it can enter an organism’s cells. After administration, the vaccine transports the SARS-CoV-2 gene into cells in the organism. With the help of this gene, the cells create the spike protein. A person’s immune system then recognizes this protein as foreign, creates antibodies against it and activates T cells (white blood cells) to attack it. If the person subsequently encounters the SARS-CoV-2 virus, his/her immune system recognizes it and the organism will be ready to defend itself against it. The adenovirus in the vaccine cannot reproduce itself and does not bring about the illness.

What is the difference between the individual types of vaccines?
All four approved vaccines available on the Czech market, i.e. the vaccines from Pfizer/BionTech, Moderna, AdtraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson, are equally safe. They are comparably immunogenic, i.e. comparably stimulate the immune system across age categories.

Are covid-19 vaccines safe?
Before being introduced to the market, the vaccine undergoes extensive clinical testing, to detect potential undesirable side effects. Only then can the vaccine be marketed. Vaccines are tested on tens of thousands of volunteers under medical supervision. The safety, efficacy and pharmaceutical quality is guaranteed in registered pharmaceuticals. The safety of vaccines is monitored continuously even after their registration and marketing.

Are covid-19 vaccines ineffective?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is similar to the SARS and MERS viruses. The teams devoted to researching the vaccine for these viruses where thus able to use prior expertise and start working on a vaccine for the current virus. Given that it is a global pandemic, pharmaceutical companies are willing to devote many more financial and human resources to research than to any other research. The criteria for registering vaccines are stricter than for medicines, because such products are applied to a healthy population. The decision to register a vaccine is substantiated by all the necessary data.

Do covid-19 vaccines affect the disease itself?
None of the vaccines against covid-19 contains the entire virus, which would be capable of replicating or penetrating the cells, and is thus unable to infect humans. The vaccines contain only parts which stimulate the immune system to create antibodies. The vaccine is not unsafe and does not cause the illness itself.

Is herd immunization enough to obliterate the virus?
Experts agree that it is necessary to achieve 60 – 70% immunization of society to stop the spread of covid-19. Collectively immunity is most effectively and quickly achieved only through vaccination. Arbitrary herd immunization would result in far too many victims, with the constant threat of collapse of the healthcare system.  

Is covid-19 vaccine meaningless for those who have recovered from the disease?
Inasmuch as it is not clear how long post-infection immunity lasts, it certainly is not lifelong or long-term immunity. Although data indicates that after recovering from the disease, a person should not fall ill again for some time, exceptional cases have been recorded of people being infected twice within a distance of one or two months. The vaccine creates much higher levels of antibodies and cell immunity. Such immunity is more robust and therefore lasts longer.

Covid-19 vaccination does not make sense because the virus mutates anyway?
Research to date indicates that the flu virus mutates ten times more often than SARS-CoV-2 virus. On the contrary, the fewer people are vaccinated, the more the virus will circulate in the population and thus mutate. If a sufficient number of people are vaccinated, the cycle of the virus will be mitigated. 

How are covid-19 vaccines approved?
Given the urgency of the pandemic, vaccines against covid-19 are developed and registered faster than usual. However, they will meet the same high standards as all other vaccines.