President Miloš Zeman criticized Minister of Health, Jan Blatný, and director of the State Institute for Drug Control (SÚKL), Irena Storová, because they actively prevent the approval of the Sputnik V vaccine in the Czech Republic.

Zeman also offered to remove them from office because their attitude towards Sputnik V will have many negative consequences, such as the deaths of patients. 

Zeman is convinced the Russian and Chinese vaccines as the best solution during the current critical situation in the country.

“The conclusion is that if millions of people are vaccinated with these vaccines, whether Russian or Chinese, then the two I spoke of [Minister of Health Blatný and also the director of the State Institute for Drug Control] are to blame for the fact that our people will continue to die unnecessarily,” Zeman explained. He also said that people should not trust the media which says that Sputnik can be dangerous because he feels that this vaccine is safe based on the research. 

Besides, Zeman added that Blatný is not the best choice for the Minister of Health position since he’s not the epidemiologist and “has no managerial experience.” Zeman has a strong opinion that Blatný’s decisions can lead to dangerous consequences, and he wants to discuss it with the Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. 

Babiš already responded to the President’s statements explaining that there are no plans to change the Cabinet of Ministers. He also decided not to comment on Zeman’s thoughts about the blame for people’s death. “It’s a statement from the President. I don’t need to comment on it,” Babiš added.

As for Blatný, he also responded to Zeman’s comments but tried not to focus on the negative points. He added that doesn’t plan to resign soon.

“I would choose another point where the President says that if there was no pandemic, I would have been a pretty good minister, so I take that as a compliment,” Blatný commented. He added that the decision to vaccinate without Russian or Chinese vaccines is not based on political interests. 

Previously, Blatný stated that Czech authorities are not interested in using vaccines that are not approved by the EMA or European Union commissions. “I must insist that vaccines in the Czech Republic must be safe and evaluated by EMA. Regardless of where they come from,” Blatný explained.

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Irina Nikolaeva

Irina Nikolaeva

Hi, I'm a journalist, copywriter, and social media manager who has been living in Prague for 4 years. Ask me anything about the music or film industry.
Irina Nikolaeva