How to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Croatia

COVID-19 vaccine in Croatia
Image by torstensimon

UPDATED: 5/5/2021

Vaccination against COVID-19 is a safe way to protect yourself and others from the disease. All COVID-19 vaccines that are used in Croatia have been shown to protect from severe forms of the virus and death.

The vaccination is not required of residents, and will not be required for tourists to enter the country. It is completely optional.

Residents who want to get vaccinated must first subscribe to the vaccination list. Once it is their turn, they will be invited to get the vaccination.

In Croatia, vaccinations are carried out by:

  • Family doctor offices (ordinacija obiteljske medicine)
  • County Institutes of Public Health (Županijski zavod za javno zdravstvo)
  • Mass vaccination points (punktovi za masovno cijepljenje)

If you are struggling with the current situation regarding the COVID-19 epidemic, you can always get free psychological support.

In this post, we cover:

Let’s get started…

Who qualifies to get the COVID-19 vaccine

In Croatia, a vaccine against COVID-19 is available to:

  • Croatian nationals
  • Residents with prebivalište (permanent address) in Croatia
  • Residents with boravište (temporary address) in Croatia

This means that vaccination is open to all Croatian citizens and non-citizens who have legal residence in Croatia, regardless of whether they have HZZO health insurance or not. Vaccinations are currently not available to tourists.

If you are a tourist, view our detailed guide to COVID-19 resources here.

Who belongs to the priority groups

Vaccination is conducted according to priority groups defined by the National COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Priority groups are:

  1. Workers and users of homes for the elderly
  2. Persons with disabilities
  3. Healthcare workers
  4. Persons older than 65 years of age
  5. Persons with chronic diseases regardless of their age
  6. Persons with increased risk of severe forms of the disease
  7. Tourism workers and private renters (Not yet official, but they are next on the list)

Family doctors should evaluate the medical history of their patients and put them in priority groups, if needed. However, doctors may not proactively do this. If you are in a priority group, speak to your doctor to make sure you’ve been placed properly. Priority groups have an advantage to get vaccinated before everyone else.

How to get on the vaccination list in Croatia

To get a COVID-19 vaccine in Croatia, you must subscribe to the vaccination list. There are several ways to do this.

Option #1 – Family doctor

You can sign up for the vaccination with your family doctor called “doktor obiteljske medicine”. Call your doctor and inform them that you’d like to get on the list.

This option is especially recommended for people with chronic diseases. A family doctor will confirm your health condition and assign you a priority place on the vaccination list.

Immobile and handicapped persons must apply at their family doctor. The doctor will organize vaccination during a home visit or with the help of mobile teams. People living in nursing institutions and special hospitals will be vaccinated in those institutions.

More information on the vaccination of immobile and handicapped persons is available here.

Option #2 – Online

UPDATE: Currently, residents should NOT register for the vaccination online via Cijepi se due to the unreliability of the system. Instead, contact your family doctor to register to the list.

During the last week, certain problems with the system have occurred.

In most of the counties, people have not been able to get vaccinated after registering via Cijepi se. The county institute of public health (HZJZ) stated that the system is full of errors and that the ordering system is unclear. This has brought chaos to the process of vaccination. If this issue gets sorted out, we will update this post accordingly.

If you already registered online but have not yet been vaccinated, please use another method to register.

You may read more about this issue in the news here.

Option #3 – By phone

You can also request to be on the vaccination list by calling the free phone line 0800 0011. If you are a resident of Zagreb, you may call 0800 8804.

You need HZZO health insurance or an OIB to register over the phone.

The line is open on working days from 8:00 to 20:00. After applying, you will receive a notification about the place and time of vaccination via email, SMS, or by phone, depending on your selection.

Option #4 – County institutions of the HZJZ

Another option to subscribe to the vaccination list is to contact the County Public Health Institute (Županijski zavod za javno zdravstvo). A full list of all County Institutes in Croatia and their contact numbers are available here.

If you don’t have a family doctor, HZZO health insurance or an OIB, this option is for you. Contact the HZJZ office closest to where you live or where you are currently staying.

If you need to get vaccinated against other diseases, check out this post.

Vaccines available in Croatia

Due to the limited distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, it is not possible to choose the vaccine for which you want to be vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available in Croatia are:

  • AstraZeneca/Oxford
  • Moderna
  • Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty)

All of the above mentioned vaccines demand a vaccination with two doses of the same vaccine. It is recommended to receive the second dose of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine after 12 weeks. For Moderna, the recommendation is to receive the second dose after 4-6 weeks (but at least 28 days), and for Pfizer/BioNTech after 6 weeks (but at least after 21 days).

AstraZeneca/Oxford and Moderna vaccines are recommended for persons of 18 years of age and more. Pfizer/BioNTech is recommended for persons of 16 years of age and more.

The fourth vaccine from Johnson&Johnson will soon be available in Croatia as well. This vaccine will require only one dose.

Additional information on COVID-19 vaccination

Before the vaccination, notify the doctor about your allergies, severe acute illness and infections with high body temperature. They will determine whether you can get vaccinated with the available vaccine or if the vaccination must be postponed.

Once you get the vaccination time and date, be sure to appear at the vaccination. Don’t miss it. If you have an emergency situation, inform the doctor about it. They will get you a new time. After you receive the first dose of the vaccine, you will receive a notification on the time for the second dose. It will be sent by the same doctor who vaccinated you the first time.

Information on the impact of the vaccines on pregnant women is still limited and insufficient. If you are pregnant, vaccination should be considered only in cases when the potential benefits from vaccination are bigger than potential risks to the mother and fetus.

The vaccine may have lower efficacy for persons who are immunocompromised. For example, oncological patients and persons who receive immunosuppressive therapies may experience lower efficacy.

If you notice any side effects after getting vaccinated, contact the doctor who gave you the vaccination immediately.

Here is a list of common side effects and questions about the vaccine.

Be safe. Get vaccinated. Wear a mask.

Check out our other related posts

Sources:
https://www.koronavirus.hr/cijepljenje-protiv-covid-19-bolesti-najcesca-pitanja-i-odgovori/892
https://www.hzjz.hr/sluzba-epidemiologija-zarazne-bolesti/od-danas-se-gradani-mogu-prijaviti-na-cijepljenje-protiv-covid-19-i-preko-interneta-ili-telefonski/
https://www.stampar.hr/hr/sustav-prijavljivanja-gradana-na-cijepljenje-protiv-covid-19-infekcije
https://www.hzjz.hr/sluzba-epidemiologija-zarazne-bolesti/kontakti-zupanijskih-pozivnih-centara-za-prijavu-na-cijepljenje-protiv-bolesti-covid-19/
https://www.plivazdravlje.hr/aktualno/clanak/34642/COVID-19-kada-se-cijepiti-i-kojim-cjepivom.html#44892

Sharing is Caring:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the Expat in Croatia Newsletter and get a FREE GUIDE to the 9 Tips for Battling Croatia's Bureaucracy.