The Ministry of Health spent 18 billion on covid in three years.

The Ministry of Health spent 18 billion on covid in three years.

The Ministry of Health spent 18 billion on covid in three years.

On February 4, 2021, a health worker prepares a dose of the vaccine against covid-19 at the vaccination center in the Cologne hospital. Hospital employees and social service workers are currently vaccinated here.

Prague – The Ministry of Health has spent over 18 billion crowns in connection with covid in three years. Vaccines, which have been purchased so far for 14.6 billion, cost the most. At the beginning of the epidemic, the authority issued 2.37 billion for protective equipment or lung ventilators, which it purchased itself. The Smart Quarantine and information lines cost more than 940 million, 160 million went to media campaigns and advertising. This follows from ČTK's calculations according to the ministry's list of paid invoices. The epidemic cost the public health insurance system hundreds of billions more for testing, applying vaccines and treating the infected. The first three cases of infection appeared in the Czech Republic on March 1, 2020.

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According to the ministry's answers to ČTK, more than 37 million doses of the vaccine arrived by the end of 2022, over 28 million from Pfizer/BioNTech. Of the received benefits, the Czech Republic had to dispose of more than seven million, because they had expired. Another 2.5 million donated to other countries.

According to spokesman Ondřej Jakob, discussions are currently taking place about how many doses of vaccines the Czech Republic will receive this year. The ministry has a billion earmarked for them in the budget. “At the moment, it is not possible to say what specific amount the Czech Republic will receive this year, the goal is to postpone it to a later period due to the current stockpiles and, overall, to ensure a rational distribution of supplies reflecting the real needs based on the interest in vaccination,” said the spokesperson.

According to the data of the ministry, it is constantly decreasing. In 2021, health professionals administered 15.5 million doses, about five times less than last year. Overall, 65 percent of the population is vaccinated, a third of people have one booster dose and seven percent have two. This year, only about 1,100 people started vaccination.

In addition to vaccines, companies have also developed new drugs since the beginning of the epidemic. The Ministry paid over 600 million crowns for remdesivir, which was the first drug intended directly for the treatment of covid. In 2020, so-called monoclonal antibodies appeared. These were purchased directly by selected hospitals, but often remained unused. They requested over 426 million crowns as compensation, they will receive 396 million crowns in March. The price of the drug for one patient was approximately 50,000 crowns. Similarly, hospitals also bought the latest antivirals lagevrio and paxlovid, which have been covered by health insurance companies since February. They pay 26,600 crowns for paxlovid, 18,000 crowns for lagevrio.

In the spring of 2020, the ministry gave the name Smart Quarantine to a set of electronic tools for connecting general practitioners, testing centers, laboratories, hospitals, hygiene stations and the ministry, which also included the mobile applications eRouška and Tečka. Together with the operation of the call center, which provided the information lines, over 940 million crowns were paid for them. Of this, the National Agency for Communication and Information Technologies (NAKIT) charged him more than 590 million crowns for his services.

Last year, when there were almost no anti-epidemic measures left for most of the year and interest in testing and vaccination declined, the Ministry paid almost 280 million crowns, 150 million of which NAKIT. It gave an average of 10.5 million per month for the operation of call centers.

The Ministry is counting on the costs of Smart Quarantine systems this year as well. “With regard to the current epidemic situation, the provision of central management of vaccination and readiness in 2023, the ministry continues to count on the maintenance and development of Smart Quarantine 2.0 tools, with their permanent integration into the structures of the relevant participating entities,” said Jakob. In this year's budget, the ministry has reserved 160 million for it.

Costs for the operation of the Smart Quarantine, campaigns to support vaccination and purchases in millions of crowns:


operation of call centers, mobile applications and software NAKIT advertisement respirators, tests ventilators, thermal cameras and instruments total
in three years 351.75 591.53 163.14 2185.53 191.02 3482.98
2022 128.47 150.40 58.16 0.00 0.00 337.03
2021 158.21 398.73 98.59 5.02 0.00 660.55
2020 65.07 42.39 6.40 2180.51 191.02 2485.40

Vaccination and drug costs:

Pfizer Moderna Johnson&Johnson AstraZeneca Novavax Sanofi Remdesivir TOTAL
over three years 11213.34 2352.50 229.46 87.89 126.06 2.64 604.02 14615.91
2022 5986.34 910.90 68 .26 35.09 126.06 1.44 0.00 7128 .09
2021 5227.00 1441.60 161.20 52.80 0.00 1.20 428.29 7312.09
2020 175.73 175.73

Source : calculation of ČTK according to the list of MZČR paid invoices< /p>