Czech mobile vaccination teams visit excluded localities in Ostrava-Přívoz, Regional Authority working with Romani NGOs on outreach
Inhabitants of far-flung parts of the Moravian-Silesian Region will be offered vaccinations against COVID-19 by three mobile teams next week, as will residents of excluded localities, and representatives of the Moravian-Silesian Regional Authority and the Ostrava Teaching Hospital have come to an agreement with representatives of Romani organizations on how to do outreach about the vaccinations to the Romani community in such locations. Miroslava Chlebounová of the Moravian-Silesian Regional Authority informed journalists of the news today.
Some mobile vaccination teams will hold a trial run starting today. Hospital and Regional Authority representatives held their meeting on the vaccinations with representatives of Romani organizations from the region earlier this morning.
"It's necessary to design a strategy for this vaccination, to inform people and motivate them to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus by getting vaccinated," said the Moravian-Silesian Regional Vice-Governor for Health Care, Martin Gebauer (ANO). "We asked Vladimír Kočka, representative of the Assocation of Romani Entrepreneurs, and the director of the Life Together association, Kumar Vishwanathan, to aid us with this."
"Romani people who are already vaccinated and those who want to be vaccinated have a great deal of influence and the power to persuade their families and friends to get vaccinated," Gebauer said. The Regional Authority has agreed with the representatives of Romani organizations that a mobile vaccination team from the teaching hospital will visit the Ostrava-Přívoz quarter today in order to test interest in the vaccine.
"Next week, on Monday and Tuesday, they will help us organize informative meetings with the inhabitants of the excluded localities, where health workers from the Ostrava teaching hospital will provide them with information and explain everything vaccinations entail," Gebauer added. Depending on the interest expressed during today's trial run, the hospital is prepared to send a mobile vaccination team to the localities identified by Romani activists as receptive over the next few days.
"This is a big day," Life Together (Vzájemné soužití) posted to Facebook this morning. "We are launching vaccination in the field!"
"Roughly 4.7 million people in the Czech Republic have completed their vaccinations," the Facebook post reads. "Many of our Romani friends, and not just them, are already vaccinated, as are many staffers of Life Together and their families."
"Vaccinated people, moreover, will understandably be more and more at an advantage as time passes," the post explains. "We firmly believe that vaccination is currently the best possible way to return to a happier life."
"The reason for the lower vaccination coverage in the peripheral areas of the region is the remoteness of such municipalities and the greater distances that people have to travel to reach vaccination centers," Gebauer explained. "People are simply further away from where the vaccination is happening, and it is also possible that many of them are not as able to use the modern technologies through which it is necessary to register for vaccination."
"For that reason, we will be sending three mobile vaccination teams to them," Gebauer said. Next Tuesday and Wednesday the teams will travel to Jablunkovo in the Frýdek-Místek area, to Vítkov in the Opava area, and to Osoblaha in the Bruntál area.
"We are reaching agreement with the mayors there on the exact locations and times," Gebauer said. "The vaccines will be either from Pfizer/BioNTech or the one-time vaccination from Johnson & Johnson."
"It will not be necessary to register ahead of time, the mobile vaccination teams will arrange the registration on the spot," he said. For the two-dose vaccine, the mobile teams will revisit the location to deliver the second dose, according to the Moravian-Silesian Regional Vice-Governor for Health Care.
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