When will I get my COVID vaccine? FAQs about vaccination in Slovakia

Here’s what we know about the vaccination process in Slovakia so far.

(Source: TASR/AP)

When did COVID vaccination start in Slovakia?

Vaccination in Slovakia started on December 26, 2020.

Will the vaccination be obligatory in Slovakia?

The Health Ministry claims it will be voluntary and free of any additional charges for people, paid from public health insurance.

What vaccines are available in Slovakia?

Slovakia is vaccinating people with the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, all of which have been approved by European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Slovakia has also purchased vaccines by Johnson & Johnson, but those have not been used in the country so far. The Health Ministry plans to use them for immobile patients, marginalised and excluded communities.

Slovakia signed a contract for two million Sputnik V vaccines, the first 200,000 arriving in early March. The Sputnik vaccination has not been launched. The EMA does not recommend using the vaccine without registration.

When will my turn for the vaccination come?

On April 29, 2021, the virtual waiting room for vaccination opened for everyone in Slovakia older than 16 (included).

People will choose the district where they want to be vaccinated and they will receive an appointment based on their age and chronic disease.

People from critical infrastructure will be still given preference and then people will be invited based on their age. It means that even if a 70-year-old person applies to virtual waiting room later, he should gain an appointment sooner than a waiting 30-year-old. It will also depend on supplies of the vaccines.

The new vaccination algorithm will also take into consideration chronic diseases of the patients. People with serious chronic diseases will be placed at the level with 70-year-olds and older and people with the medium serious chronic diseases will be looked at like 60-year-olds.

People with chronic diseases do not have to specify the disease when applying, neither prove so in the vaccination centre. The system will connect his or her birth number with data from the health insurer and so the system will automatically decide whether the person is entitled to preferential vaccination or not.

Vaccines will be assigned automatically, according to valid ordinance. It means that people older than 60 should receive Pfizer or Moderna including chronic patients, while younger people should be invited to AstraZeneca with the exception of youngsters between age of 16 and 17 who should receive Pfizer as well, as only this vaccine has been approved for people younger than 18.

Will children get vaccinated, too?

No, they will not, at least not in the first four phases as planned for now. The reason is that vaccines in clinical trials are not tested on children as a rule. This is why children and youth have been globally excluded from vaccination.

Where will the vaccination take place? Should I visit my GP?

No, vaccination centres are established in medical and non-medical premises around the country. In the end of April, there were 100 vaccination centres open across Slovakia, 59 in hospitals, 21 in outpatient clinics, 20 of large scale.

How will I know that it is my turn for the vaccination? Will I get an invitation?

You will fill in the registration form on the https://vakcinacia.nczisk.sk/ website, which serves as virtual waiting room. This app was developed after repeated problems with registration when too many people were trying to register.

The person will fill in all personal data, including a telephone number and e-mail contact. The next step is to choose the area where you want to be vaccinated.

Previously, people were chosing specific vaccination centres, but the novelty is that now they choose a district where they want to be vaccinated and the appointment will be given according to vacant capacities. People may choose more than one preferable district.

After filling in the form, the user will receive confirmation of their registration and notified as soon as a slot is open. They will receive also a PIN code for potential cancellation or change of registration. The PIN code is later sent to the person's email and as a text message.

The terms will be distributed based on the applicant’s age. The website is in Slovak only.

After you receive an appointment for vaccination, you will arrive at the vaccination centre, fill in a questionnaire about your health status; a health care professional will perform a quick examination, ask you about some acute symptoms, such as coughing, cold and fever; and you will sign two copies of informed consent – one for you to keep and one for the health care records. You will receive your injection and wait another 30 minutes in the waiting room, to make sure you are monitored for possible side effects.

The side effects that may occur after the injection are a reddish and painful needle mark, muscle pain and slightly increased temperature.

The revaccination date (if applicable, the Johnson&Johnson vaccine requires only one dose) will be given to you automatically.

I have already had COVID-19. Can I receive an injection?

It depends on when you had COVID-19. It applies that 90 days have to pass until you can receive an injection.

Once I am vaccinated, will I be able to live like before the pandemic?

Probably no. To achieve herd immunity, at least 60 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated, the strategy estimates. This means about 3.3 million people in Slovakia. The strategy reads that if the rate drops to 50 percent, the growth of new cases will not be eliminated, even if the effectiveness of the vaccine is 100 percent.

Experts warn that people will probably be required to wear masks and social distance, especially between the first and second dose of the vaccine.

It is not clear if there will be any advantages for vaccinated people yet. However, a vaccinated person should receive a proof of vaccination, which may be required for international travel, for example.

Do I have to undergo testing before vaccination?

No. The Health Ministry said that neither antigen nor PCR testing will be mandatory before receiving the jab.

How can I cancel a scheduled date for vaccination?

Visit this website. https://vakcinacia.nczisk.sk/zmena Here you can change or cancel the appointment.

If I cancel the date of my vaccination, how can I request a new one?

You need to register again at https://www.old.korona.gov.sk/covid-19-vaccination-form.php

When you cancel a vaccination, the soonest possible date for registration is after two days. Otherwise, the system will report that the registration already exists.

If I re-schedule my appointment, because I cancelled the original date, do I use the COVID-19-PASS from the first appointment?

You must fill in the whole registration form again. If a person already has the COVID-19-PASS in the system, it will remain there. There is only one for all operations for each person.

When I go for the second dose of the vaccine do I go to the same place as the first time?

In most cases, yes. If there is a change in the vaccination centre for the second dose, you will be notified in the text message that will invite you to the second dose.

How do I choose the health insurer in the registration form?

If you are employed in Slovakia, the employer pays levies to the public health system on your behalf. As self-employed, you are paying them on your own to one of the health insurers of your choice. Therefore, you should have an insurance card of one of the health insurers (VšZP, Dôvera, Union), so you choose based on your card.

If you pay your health insurance in another EU country, you need to first register your S1 form before you arrive to the vaccination centre. If you had already went through the process, choose that you are an EU citizen.

If you do not pay public health insurance in Slovakia, neither in another EU country and you are not a foreigner with subsidiary protection or a foreign medical student studying and working in Slovakia, you are currently not entitled to vaccination against Covid-19 in Slovakia.

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