Experts and hospitals oppose the PM: Vaccination, not testing, is a priority

Vaccination rollout in Slovakia not as fast as the available vaccines would allow.

PM Igor Matovič shows the antigen testing kit that was later used in the nationwide testing project in Slovakia in October 2020.PM Igor Matovič shows the antigen testing kit that was later used in the nationwide testing project in Slovakia in October 2020. (Source: SITA)

PM Igor Matovič says mass testing is the most effective weapon against the pandemic, but experts and hospitals oppose him and insist vaccination should be the focus now.

Despite their opposition to the plan that the PM unveiled earlier this week, Matovič announced he was determined to proceed with the mass testing. The major hospitals in the country, which are now both rolling out the vaccination and testing, told the Sme daily that they did not have enough staff to allow them to participate in the mass testing project.

>>> Read more about coronavirus in Slovakia.

Both healthcare facilities and experts claim that testing should be applied mainly in the hardest-hit areas, while the focus on the nationwide level should be on vaccination as the most effective tool to counter the pandemic.

Related articleGovernment to ramp up vaccine programme after slow start Read more 

Meanwhile, vaccination proceeds at a slow pace in Slovakia. By this time, 25 vaccination centres were supposed to be up and running. Up to 79, one per each district, should eventually be opened. The online booking system on only offers appointments at 22 vaccination spots, which are open for healthcare and nursing home staff now, as of January 12.

Moreover, while Slovakia has received more than 85,000 vaccines from Pfizer and a further 12,000 Moderna vaccines are expected this week, only 31,785 people have been vaccinated as of January 12, based on the data provided by the ministry.

Vaccination versus testing

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