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June 26, 2022



ROMEA TV interviews Czech doctor about vaccines against COVID-19 - how are they made and how do they work?

26.2.2021 7:08
Dr Marie Nejedlá, in an interview for ROMEA TV, explains how the vaccine against COVID-19 is produced. (PHOTO:  ROMEA TV)
Dr Marie Nejedlá, in an interview for ROMEA TV, explains how the vaccine against COVID-19 is produced. (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)

The willingness of citizens of the Czech Republic to allow themselves to be vaccinated against COVID-19 has grown slightly since the close of 2020 - at the end of January 2021, 54 % of adults surveyed in the Czech Republic said they would be interested in a free vaccine. As polls from abroad demonstrate, however, the willingness to be vaccinated is lower among the ethnic minorities of various societies. 

This is apparently also the case among Romani people in the Czech Republic. Several opinions and questions about the vaccine are being repeated in the community comparatively frequently. 

One such question is about what the vaccines are made of. The vaccines were also developed quite quickly - so does that mean they are of poor quality? 

To what extent are the vaccines effective? ROMEA TV is broadcasting a series of video interviews online where Dr Marie Nejedlá of the National Institute of Public Health (Státní zdravotní ústav) answers these questions. 

The first video briefly explains what anti-COVID vaccines are made of and how they work. "The virus contains a genetic code in the form of an entire ribonucleic acid (RNA)," Dr Nejedlá explained in the first interview.

"One small section of that ribonucleic acid codes the protrusions on the surface of the virus. Those protrusions make the virus identifiable and our immune systems recognize it," she said.   

"When producing the vaccine, just one small part of the genetic information of the virus (the messenger RNA or mRNA) is copied, and that copy is inserted into an oily shell," Dr Nejedlá said. In the Czech Republic there are three EU-registered vaccines being given, made by the firms AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech.  

As of 19 February, more than 667 000 doses of vaccine had arrived in the Czech Republic from those companies, and according to data on the Czech Health Ministry website, 528 000 doses had made it into people as of 19 February, with almost 200 000 people having received both of the doses in the two-step process. Czech Health Minister Blatný said that as of 19 February, 86 % of the vaccines distributed to the regions have made it into people.

brf, LC, th, ryz, sam, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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