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November 27, 2021

 

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COVID-19 is on the upswing again in the Czech Republic, but vaccination will protect you - don't listen to the myths

31.10.2021 7:56
A mobile vaccination team at the Mojžíř housing estate in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic, August 2021. (PHOTO:  Konexe)
A mobile vaccination team at the Mojžíř housing estate in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic, August 2021. (PHOTO: Konexe)

The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing its global rampage. Last year between 30 000 and 40 000 people died of this disease in the Czech Republic, including Romani people.

Protection against this disease does exist, in the form of immunization against it. In some countries, most people have managed to be vaccinated, COVID is retreating, and life is returning to normal.

In other countries, however, many people have not been convinced to be immunized, so the pandemic is accelerating, the hospitals are on the verge of collapse, a large number of people are dying of this disease, and more lockdowns are planned. In the Czech Republic, many people are refusing to be vaccinated.

Quite a few Romani men and women here are frequently rejecting immunizations because they have fallen for disinformation that is simply not true. Let's explore these ideas and explain why they are false.

1) "Even vaccinated people can still contract COVID, therefore the vaccine doesn't work."

While it is true that even an immunized person can contract COVID, there has never been a vaccine in the history of the world that has ever provided 100 % protection. Rather, the chance that an immunized person will become infected is much lower than the chance that an unvaccinated person will catch the disease. This is similar to a person wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle. While even a person wearing a helmet could still have his skull cracked open if he falls off, there is much less of a chance of that happening than if the person wears a helmet. The vaccine is like the helmet, it significantly increases the chance that if the person catches the disease, it will be mild. That means an immunized person has much less of a chance of needing to be hospitalized with COVID.

2) "Vaccination is harmful."

Many rumors about vaccination are circulating on Facebook, including deceptive stories about immunization being harmful, people allegedly dying after being vaccinated, etc. Several million people have already been immunized in the Czech Republic with no fatalities resulting. Some people have mild side effects after vaccination - for example, that the arm in which they got the injection hurts for a day or so, or that they feel weak, etc. That is an absolutely common, normal response to any kind of immunization, for any disease. 

3) "The vaccines against COVID are too new and were not tested."

This is simply untrue. The vaccine against COVID-19 is a kind of vaccine that has been produced for many years, and vaccines today are tested better than any of the vaccines that those of us who were children before 1990 were given back then.

4) "The vaccines against COVID contain microchips, poisons, waste, radioactive material, fetal tissue, etc."

None of this is true, these are absurdities. The Czech State Institute for Drug Control examines all medicines and vaccines and would never allow anything of the sort. 

5) "The Roma are receiving a different kind of vaccine than non-Roma are." 

This is not true. Immunizations are using vaccines from the companies Johnson&Johnson, Pfizer-Biontech, or Moderna. At many immunization sites in the Czech Republic people are able to choose their brand of vaccine. 

By getting the vaccine, you protect not just yourself, but also your family. The Krajská zdravotní (Regional Health) company, which runs the hospitals in the Ústecký Region, is doing its best to vaccinate as many inhabitants of the region as possible, and their immunization bus is traveling around the region every day. 

The company is thinking about impoverished Romani men and women too, and the bus will soon start reaching the places where they live. Anybody interested will have the opportunity to be vaccinated for free.

There will be a doctor traveling with the bus, and those interested will be able to speak with that doctor about the vaccinations and ask questions. This is a big opportunity for everybody who has not yet managed to be vaccinated, who has hesitated, or who hasn't wanted to deal with the online registration process.

Everybody who is immunized will receive an international vaccination certificate that can be used to document their immunization, and such people will not have to be tested for the virus anymore - and the certificate will facilitate travel abroad. Think of your health and that of your family, take advantage of this opportunity as soon as possible.

Miroslav Brož, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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COVID-19, Hospital, smrt , vaccination



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