The General Health Insurance Company (VZP) said on Monday that around 68,000 children are already registered for health insurance in the Czech Republic. According to Dvořáček, it is not known how many of them vaccination cannot prove.
Currently, it is mandatory to document all mandatory vaccinations before the child enters kindergarten. The Czech Society of Vaccinology indicates in the recommendation that Ukrainian children who will not be able to prove by the vaccination card that they have all the mandatory vaccines must be revaccinated under the accelerated regime. This vaccination would last from four to eight weeks, depending on the age of the child.
“We will follow the recommendations of vaccinologists and the WHO (World Health Organization),” Dvořáček said.
According to him, the capacities of pediatric general practitioners should be reinforced in the coming days by surgical interventions in the hospitals to which the refugees could go. VZP director Zdeněk Kabátek estimated that there would be, on average, about 40–50 Ukrainian refugee children per pediatrician’s practice. However, the numbers are not uniform across regions, there are more in Prague, Brno and Central Bohemia.
“Now we are not preparing any special bonus mechanism, we are not able to predict how long the situation will last,” he said.
According to him, in the short term, the reimbursement will be solved by paying for individual services, in the future the admission of Ukrainian children to care and the monthly payment of capitalization will also be considered, as for other insured children. “But at the moment we want to resolve the ad hoc situation, pay for all the medical services that will be provided,” Kabátek added.
Dvořáček: Greater entry of children into schools and kindergartens next year
According to Dvořáček, who has experience working in the humanitarian field, Ukrainian grown children cannot be expected to go to kindergartens in the coming days. At first, he said, it would be more appropriate for them to be together in the same language groups than to recover from the traumatic experience of fleeing the homeland.
According to him, further integration will depend on how long the current situation lasts. A greater entry of children into schools and kindergartens awaits only from the next start of the school year.
Vaccination in Ukraine is about 80%
In general, Ukrainian children have the same compulsory vaccinations as Czech children and they are also vaccinated against tuberculosis. This is what happens more often in Ukraine with measles than in the Czech Republic. However, total vaccination coverage with compulsory vaccinations is lower in the country, around 80%.
Doctors who have worked against compulsory vaccination against covid-19 sent an open letter to the media on Monday addressed to the president of the Czech Vaccine Society Jan Evangelista Purkyně Roman Chlíbek, who is also the head of the National Institute of Management of the pandemic, which advises the Minister of Health. They reject the recommendations of professional societies, which they consider coercive.
They warn that if children are vaccinated against diseases for which they have already received the vaccine – but cannot prove vaccination – an inadequate immune response may occur. They demand that it be possible to examine the child for antibodies before vaccination, which is also admitted by MP Dvořáček. Fifteen signed doctors also say they will not follow the company’s recommendation.
The Ministry of Health has not yet responded to the morning news whether it will really be possible to test for antibodies if the child is unable to prove vaccination.
The concern of pediatricians
In any case, as the daily Právo recently wrote, a total of perhaps a hundred thousand Ukrainian children is a big challenge for Czech paediatricians. Some are concerned that the number of general practitioners in the Czech Republic has been declining for several years and that many of them have reached retirement age.
“The situation with pediatricians is not good and in recent years many of them have closed the practice. There are now around 1,800 pediatricians in the field and just over a thousand in hospitals. And we are expecting a hundred thousand, maybe more children from Ukraine,” Irena Hülleová, president of the Association of General Practitioners for Children and Adolescents, told Práva.
“Children who come here now mainly need acute care, some have health problems. However, we need to prepare mainly for preventive care and vaccinations,” she said, adding that pediatricians are awaiting a meeting. with Health Minister Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09).
“Anyone who can, especially pediatricians in hospitals, will have to help us,” she said.
According to pediatrician and member of the Czech Vaccine Society Hana Cabrnochová, vaccination coverage in Ukraine is not good and she also pointed out that many children will need to be vaccinated in order to enter kindergartens.
On the other hand, Jan Lebl, a pediatrician at Motol Hospital and member of the Committee of the Czech Pediatric Society of the Czech Medical Society JE Purkyně, is not very worried. “One hundred thousand children are born in the Czech Republic each year and pediatricians have almost two million clients to care for. Now they could be joined by maybe 50,000 to one hundred thousand Ukrainian children, or 2.5 to 5% moreover,” Lebl told Práva, adding that “we are not under extreme pressure yet.”
Will there be enough places?
According to Tuesday’s press release of the Pedagogical Chamber, the number of vacant places in kindergartens for Ukrainian children is currently very low in the Czech Republic. According to Radek Sárközi, president of the association, the solution could be to create groups of children financed by the Ministry of Labour.
“Current statistics from the Ministry of Education show that Czech kindergartens are almost full. The number of vacant places for Ukrainian children is minimal in most kindergartens. In kindergartens that establish municipalities, there are an average of 22 children per class. There can be a maximum of 24 children in a maternity class. Except for four other children,” Sárközi said.
“Compared to the national average, there are relatively enough vacancies for Ukrainian children in primary and secondary schools, but this does not apply to all regions or to some specific schools,” the teacher added. member of the association Markéta Emmer Illová, adding that “a certain problem could arise in the case of school clubs”.
“If there were mainly separate classes for Ukrainian children, where they would learn Czech at the end of the school year and where the pupils would take other Ukrainian lessons, the government would have to pay the Ukrainian teachers,” Sarkozi said.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Education organizes distance learning courses for students. It has published a number of manuals and other electronic materials on its website. Some Ukrainian teachers teach their students online.