On April 10, 2019, the second conference, “Vaccination of the Population in the Czech Republic – Legal and Organizational Issues” was held in Prague, organized by the Academy of Health Care Management.
Representatives of the Ministry of Health (Roman Prymula), of the State Institute for Drug Control (Petra Kaftanová) and medical law experts (Jolana Těšinová, Tomáš Doležal) spoke in the first part of the conference on newly prepared legislation aimed at compensating for potential adverse effects associated with vaccination. Speakers agreed that this is a step in the right direction and the proposed legislation should contribute to a better public perception of compulsory vaccination. Legislation could already be approved during the second half of this year.
The second part of the conference was devoted to discussing the possibilities of extending the vaccination covered by state for some other vaccines. During this block, doctors, health insurance representatives and pharmacoeconomists spoke. One of the most discussed areas of interest was vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis and vaccination against meningococcal diseases.
It is alarming that the number of cases of tick-borne encephalitis (KE) in the Czech Republic is still growing. Unfortunately, the Czech Republic is ranked first in the number of cases of tick-borne encephalitis in the EU. The participants agreed that one of the reasons for the growing risk and the number of cases is the low vaccination rate of the Czech population. On the example of countries where this vaccination is reimbursed (eg Austria), it has been shown that due to high vaccination rates the number of diseases has dropped dramatically. Based on the increasing number of KE diseases, the payment of tick-borne encephalitis vaccine (in basic insurance) in Switzerland was introduced. Since March this year, Slovenia has also started to cover a KE vaccine.
Another vaccination, in which participants agreed on the importance of reimbursement, is vaccination against meningococcal infections. Presentation by Hana Roháčová from the Hospital in Bulovka showed the extent of the meningococcal infection risk, which is one of the most dangerous infections, in which, in many cases, the patient dies or takes heavy permanent consequences for the rest of their life.
In their speech, health insurance representatives expressed their readiness to discuss the payment of vaccines against tick-borne encephalitis and meningococcal disease, but pointed out that a political decision would be primary in this matter.
The conclusion of the conference was devoted to the need for increased motivation of practical doctors (both adults and children) by health insurance companies to actively approach the increase in the population’s coverage.
The meeting was very positively evaluated by the participants.