Today, the AmCham Board will discuss public safety and vaccination policy with the government advisor prof. Roman Prymula in order to better assess the current situation and provide members with information for business planning. Our Human Resource Committee and Health Care Council helped prepare the following questions for the discussion.
1. Do you think the health care system has the capacity to handle higher rates of infection caused by new strains of the virus, or will more capacity or stricter measures be needed?
2. How concerned are you that new variants of the virus could prove immune to existing vaccines?
3. Understanding that the complexity, urgency and size of the vaccination almost guarantees disruption, are you satisfied with its progress, and when do you anticipate it will be operating at maximum capacity?
4. Although your focus has been on the pandemic, are you satisfied with how the health care system has managed to handle the diagnosis and screening of patients for serious conditions other than COVID, particularly cancers? If not, do you have suggestions on how it could be improved?
5. Some employers would like to limit the spread of COVID infection in their premises by achieving a high rate of vaccination of their employees. Reaching this goal is, however, very problematic if the vaccination does not become mandatory. Does the government consider making vaccination against Covid mandatory? If yes, in what time frame and under what circumstances would the vaccination become mandatory? Would the vaccination become mandatory for the entire population or limited to certain types of work or business activities, or limited in some other way?
6. For restaurants, hotels and other businesses, it might be important to show that the risk of getting COVID in their premises is low. A lot of businesses consider promoting that their employees have been vaccinated. What do you think about it? Do you see any issues with that from the perspective of the protection of personal data?
7. Medical technicians employed by medical companies are obliged contractually to be present in hospitals to ensure the proper functioning of equipment. Has the government considered classifying such personnel in the same vaccination priority category as similar health care workers?
8. Some companies employ third country foreigners who are not registered with Czech health insurers. Although some of these foreigners meet the risk profile for immediate vaccination, they lack a personal ID rodné číslo and therefore are not included in the set of inhabitants who can register for vaccination. Putting aside who would pay for the vaccination, has there been any consideration how these individuals should receive their vaccination?
The fault line running between human physical health and economic health is quaking. Months of public safety measures have pushed many businesses to the edge. The willpower required to abide from days and days of personal restriction has run down. The long habit of political instability in the months prior to parliamentary elections has added another element to the tense debate over how the government should proceed.
A simple fact remains. Virus spreads by human proximity. Every transmission increases the odds that a mutation will occur. The more human proximity, the more chances of something bad happening. That is the essential calculus of a pandemic.
We will send the board assessment to all members.