HN: Czech Republic left without tetanus vaccine after ministry mix-up

25-08-2009

The Czech Republic will be temporarily unable to vaccinate its citizens against tetanus, the Health Ministry has announced, blaming a change in policy for the shortage in vaccinations. The few remaining tetanus jabs in this country expire at the end of August, and new ones are yet to be delivered, the newspaper Hospodářské noviny reported on Tuesday. In April, the Health Ministry unveiled plans to entrust a private firm with the import of tetanus vaccines, which was to take place as of July, but there have been complaints that the tender was launched too late. One of the firms which lost out on the contract has also disputed the verdict which has further delayed the new system’s implementation. Around 80,000 Czechs are inoculated against tetanus each month. To try and curb the problem, the Chief Hygiene Officer Michael Vít has made a special exception and is allowing tetanus shots without Czech labeling to be used by this country’s doctors.