Vaccination has gotten underway at Bulovka University Hospital in Prague - a hospital that cooperates closely with Charles University medical faculties 1-3. Healthcare workers with respirators tend to clients (the majority of them over 80) waiting to receive their first or in some cases even second jab of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. Forum photographer Vladimír Šigut got a closer look at the hospital’s building No.7 (home to the vaccination centre for Covid-19 and the Clinic for Infectious, Parasitological and Tropical Diseases).
Vaccination against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which has been thoroughly tested and proven to effectively help against the virus, is a several step process – each of them straight-forward. First, is registration, online and then in person, providing ID, an insurance card and in some cases a general practitioner’s or other doctor’s report.
Clients are asked to fill in a short questionnaire, determining potential risks such as allergies, which is followed by a brief consultation with a doctor.
Following consultation, the patient waits a few minutes before receiving the jab itself in the shoulder – the first of two, with the second scheduled in three weeks.
After receiving the shot, clients are asked to wait 30 minutes in one of several areas, in the case of an adverse reaction (which experts say is rare) such as sudden muscle pain or feeling of weakness, headache or pain in the area of the jab.
Šimon Štefanides, from Bulovka University Hospital’s PR department, confirmed for Forum that by 1 February 9,040 people had received their first shot and 2,137 patients their second, for a total of 11,177 doses [Editor's note: That number has since gone up: it now stands at 14,348 doses as of 6 February with 10,513 pacients having now received a first jab and 3,835 their second].
According to the representative, much of the personnel helping in the vaccination effort also teach at Charles University and medical students are among those helping patients register and fill-in forms.
Vaccination at the hospital takes place from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Sunday; first jabs are given on the second floor, and patients coming for their second, receive theirs on the third (map here). Clients should be careful to come on time and not risk missing their appointment.
Photographer Vladimír Šigut, who has been covering the Covid crisis, the health care sector, as well as Charles University efforts in the fight against the virus since the first wave last March, says the procedure, with the help of a dedicated and helpful staff, is remarkably smooth. It helps, he says, that seniors accept the undertaking with the utmost seriousness, some of them even coming for their jab in their Sunday best. “All of them are very disciplined in their approach,” he explains.