A batch of the Russian vaccines Sputnik V has arrived in Slovakia.
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The vaccine was brought onboard the military plane Spartan, which took off to Moscow on the night of February 28, landing back in Košice a day later.
The first to break the news was the Denník N daily.
“I’d like to thank Russia for its correct approach,” PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) told the press. “I believe that by meeting the deadlines and promised supplies, Russia will prove that it’s a stable partner we can rely on in these hard times.”
The vaccine will now be transported to the stores of the Imuna Pharm company in Šarišské Michaľany (Prešov Region) and subsequently checked by the State Institute for Drug Control (ŠÚKL). It will probably be put to use in mid-March, Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) said.
Slovakia received the first batch of 200,000 vaccines, and will receive another 800,000 doses in March and April. Another 1 million vaccines are set to arrive in May and June.
The vaccine has not been registered by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), but can still be used in Slovakia as an unregistered medicine based on an exemption from the health minister. Both Krajčí and Matovič hope the vaccine will speed up vaccinations in the country.
The Sputnik V vaccination will be voluntary. Matovič said that the vaccine also had good results with higher age groups, meaning that there will not be the same limitation as for the AstraZeneca vaccines, now officially recommended only to people younger than 55 years.
Read more about coronavirus in Slovakia:
- Measures valid in Slovakia as of February 8 and updates on the requirement of a negative test result
- Statistics of the positive coronavirus cases
- Tightened border regime: State orders self-isolation and testing for all incomers as of February 17
- Do I have the new coronavirus? How to proceed if you have a suspicion
- I encountered a person who is COVID-19 positive. What do I do next? (FAQ)
- When will I get my COVID vaccine? FAQs about vaccination in Slovakia