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.
People 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)
- COVID-19 buses
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:
- Who qualifies to get the COVID-19 vaccine
- Who belongs to the priority groups
- How to get on the vaccination list
- Types of vaccine available in Croatia
- Additional information on vaccination
The facts are these…
In Croatia, a vaccine against COVID-19 is now available to everyone including:
- Croatian nationals
- Foreign nationals
- Residents with prebivalište, i.e. permanent address
- Residents with boravište, i.e. temporary address
- People with Croatian health insurance
- People without Croatian health insurance
To get the COVID-19 vaccination in Croatia, Croatian health insurance is no longer required. Vaccinations are currently available to everyone including tourists. [Read: How tourists can get the COVID-19 vaccine in Croatia]
Vaccination is conducted according to priority groups defined by the National COVID-19 vaccination plan.
Priority groups are:
- Workers and users of homes for the elderly
- Persons with disabilities
- Healthcare workers
- Persons older than 65 years of age
- Persons with chronic diseases regardless of their age
- Persons with increased risk of severe forms of the disease
- Tourism workers and private renters
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 the advantage to get vaccinated before everyone else.
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 to 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: Certain problems occurred with the online registration system “Cijepi se”, but they have been solved and it is now possible to get on the vaccination list online. Cijepi se is available here.
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 need HZZO health insurance [Read: Croatia’s state health care obvezno health insurance] or an OIB to register over the phone [Read: How to get an OIB].
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 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 or an OIB, this option is for you. Contact the HZJZ office closest to where you live or where you are currently staying.
Option #5 – COVID-19 buses
From June 14, 2021, it is possible to get vaccinated on COVID-19 buses. COVID-19 buses will be available in smaller rural places. Some of these places don’t have any health facilities. Vaccination via COVID-19 buses has already started in Virovitica-Podravina county.
Citizens will be vaccinated on the spot, without a prior subscription to the vaccination list. Schedules will be published on the internet, so it is best to track the news.
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:
- 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 Johnson&Johnson requires only one dose.
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 of 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 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
- Complete COVID-19 guide for tourists and residents
- How to get the COVID-19 passport (EU digital certificate) in Croatia
- How tourists can get the COVID-19 vaccine in Croatia
- Mandatory vaccinations required by law
- Psychological help due to the earthquakes and coronavirus
- Stuck in Croatia during COVID-19 epidemic
- Tax relief measures due to COVID-19 & earthquakes
- Where to get face masks, gloves, and sanitizer
- Where to get vaccinated in Croatia
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.