Czech politicians put aside difference to back booster plan

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The Czech Republic’s outgoing and incoming prime ministers have put aside their differences to support an initiative to administer 1 million COVID-19 booster shots in a week

PRAGUE — The Czech Republic’s outgoing and incoming prime ministers put aside their differences on Tuesday to support an initiative to administer 1 million COVID-19 booster shots in a week.

Outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Petr Fiala, the prime minister-designate, voiced their support for the plan announced by the “Doctors help the Czech Republic” group that aims to provide relief struggling hospitals.

“The pandemic doesn’t know any political barriers,” Babis said about the unusual partnership.

“There are moments when we need to show our common will,” Fiala said.

A number of COVID-19 patients needing intensive care surpassed 1,000 on Monday for the first time since April 14, with the overall number of hospitalized at 6,394 on Monday. About 30% of them have received two shots of a vaccine, while authorities hope the booster shot makes a difference.

The initiative has called on their colleagues from outpatient clinics to help speed up the vaccination effort while new vaccination centers are opening across the country to meet recent rising demand.

Near 6.4 million people have been fully vaccinated in the Czech Republic. More than 826,000 received a booster shot. Overall, almost 2.2 million tested positive for the coronavirus in the nation of 10.7 million, with 33,069 deaths.

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Follow all AP stories on the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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