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Slovakia bought two million doses of the Russian vaccine against the fifth Sputnik virus, and the first shipment arrived in Kosice in the evening on a special plane for the Slovak army, Prime Minister Igor Matovic announced at a press conference at Kosice Airport.
Matovic is confident that the Russian side will abide by the agreement signed on Saturday and will deliver the vaccine in appropriate quantities at the specified time. He said that one million vaccines are expected to arrive within a month, and the second million Russian vaccines are expected to arrive in Slovakia in May and June.
“Slovakia will be able to accelerate the rate of vaccination by more than 40 percent in the coming months,” the prime minister said.
In response to a question from a journalist, Health Minister Marek Karraji said that vaccination with the Russian vaccine will be voluntary and can be administered without age restrictions. Vaccination should not begin before two weeks.
They didn’t want to buy it, then they did
On February 19, the Slovak coalition government refused the Russian Sputnik V. Vaccine, then Igor Matovi announced that Slovakia was still buying a Russian vaccine. He said he had already agreed with Russia to supply two million doses of Sputnik V vaccine by the end of June. It is a “small miracle”, he said, amid the current shortage of vaccines in the world.
Under the current Slovakian law, the Minister of Health, Marek Karajci, can decide on the use of vaccines without government approval, which is what happened here. The Slovak Public Health Agency (UVZ) also supported the purchase of the Russian vaccine.
Young people are already vaccinated
In Slovakia, the vaccination strategy was revised following a government decision on Sunday. In addition to the elderly, young people working in occupations in which they have regular contact with more people can now apply for a coronavirus vaccine. According to a statement from the Slovak Ministry of Health, these are mainly smaller store assistants, taxi drivers, bus and tram drivers and travel inspectors.
Workers in these occupations must first register and then receive the AstraZeneca vaccine when it comes to them. The vaccination campaign has so far focused primarily on older generations, retirement residents and social care homes, or healthcare workers.
According to the ministry’s justification, workers in the aforementioned professions face a large number of people every day, and thus are exposed to the risk of infection.
Preference will also be given during the vaccination campaign to those who have a very responsible role in the performance of the country’s economic and social responsibilities. In this context, the Ministry of Interior called on other ministries to immediately draw up a list of vaccinations based on these criteria.
In Slovakia until about Monday. 306,000 people have been vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine, 134,000 of whom have already received the second dose. (MTI)