Czech PM Andrej Babis receives first coronavirus vaccine as nation kicks off inoculation

Prime Minister Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic receives the first injection nationwide with a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Military University Hospital, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Prague, Czech Republic.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis became the first person in the country to be given a vaccine against the new coronavirus on Sunday, as European Union member states begin a pushback against the pandemic which is surging across the continent.

Hungary and Slovakia stole a march on their fellow EU nations as they began vaccinating people against COVID-19 on Saturday. Germany officially launches its inoculation campaign on Sunday, along with coutries such as France and Italy.

Babis received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the Central Military Hospital in Prague, just before other hospitals in the capital and second-largest city Brno started to distribute the 9,750 doses the country has received so far.

“The vaccine which arrived from the European Union yesterday, that is a hope, a hope that we will return to a normal life,” Babis said before receiving the jab.

He said that the country has ordered 15.9 million vaccines in total, more than half of which will be the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, which should cover nearly 9 million people in the country of 10.7 million.

World War II veteran Emilie Repikova sits next to PM Andrej Babis as she receives the second injection nationwide with a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Military University Hospital, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Prague, Czech Republic.

Emilie Repikova, 95, a World War Two veteran, was also one of the first to be vaccinated, shortly after Babis.

The country closed non-essential shops, services and ski lifts and enforced a stricter curfew from Sunday as it seeks to curb another rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalisations.

As of Sunday morning, Czechs had reported 670,599 cases in total, 93,714 of them currently active, 4,226 hospitalised with the illness, and 11,044 have died.

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