Slovakia to receive hundreds of thousands more vaccines by June

Slovakia benefits from the new redistribution. We will remember it when others turn to us asking for solidarity, foreign affairs minister commented.

First Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be administered in Slovakia.  First Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be administered in Slovakia. (Source: TASR)

Slovakia will receive another 687,590 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses by the end of June as a supply from the redistribution of additional vaccines within the European Union.

It is part of the package of additional 10 million BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine doses agreed in the EU on April 1 within the second quarter of this year, as negotiated with the producer of these vaccines by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

"This is a very important and extraordinary expression of solidarity in the EU," the Government's Office commented, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

>>> Read all about Covid-19 vaccination in Slovakia.

Part of the vaccines will be redistributed in several member states in order to reduce the differences in the expected vaccination rate by the end of June (expected to range from 31 to 90 percent). Based on the leaked estimations of the European Commission, Slovakia was at risk to be one of three EU countries with the fewest vaccinated people by the summer.

The rest of the vaccine will be redistributed according to the population.

Related articleWhen will I get my COVID vaccine? FAQs about vaccination in Slovakia Read more 

In the negotiations, Slovakia presented its own proposal for the redistribution of the vaccine, in which the lower limit of the vaccination rate would be at least at the level of 50 to 52 percent, stated Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO).

The resulting compromise accepted this logic and pushes the vaccination rate of beneficiary countries to at least 45 percent by the end of June.

Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) underlined that 340,000 Slovaks will be protected from Covid-19 with the registered vaccine six months ahead of the plan, the result of a show of solidarity by 19 EU-member states with Slovakia, which found itself in arrears in ordering the vaccine.

"We thank them for this and will remember it when others turn to us asking for solidarity," said Korčok as quoted by TASR.

Related article Virtual waiting room for vaccination has been opened

He emphasised that the earlier arrival of the vaccines in Slovakia will become a reality partly by virtue of the efforts of Slovak diplomats, as this vaccine is much sought-after in the EU. He in particular thanked Slovak Ambassador to the EU Petra Vargová, colleagues from Slovakia's Permanent Representation to the EU as well as Prime Minister Eduard Heger's (OĽaNO) advisor Ľubica Karvašová.

Meanwhile, the one millionth vaccine dose was administered in Slovakia on Thursday, April 1, the Health Ministry reported. A total of 737,496 people received the first dose of vaccine up to Thursday, April 1, with 263,415 also having their second jab, TASR reported.

Inoculation is expected to pick up pace in the next few weeks, as a new single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is slated to arrive in the second quarter of the year. With the EU-approved additional supplies of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, Slovakia expects the supplies of 1.63 million doses within the next three months.

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