Warnings sounded over low vaccination uptake among elderly

Slovakia struggles to get older people inoculated as Health Ministry announces younger groups can register for jab.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Archive of Sme)

This week the Health Ministry announced that Slovakia’s vaccination programme was now open to people over 40. This came just three days after registration opened for those in the 45-50 age group, and was accompanied by a confirmation that the ministry was considering opening the programme up to people of all ages soon.

But while this sounds like good news for many young people, experts say it paints a worrying picture of how Slovakia’s vaccination programme is progressing overall – and could leave Slovakia stuck with lockdown restrictions into summer.

Experts say that if many elderly people remain unvaccinated in the coming months, hospitals will remain full of patients with Covid-19, blocking healthcare for others, and lockdown measures, in some form, will remain in place.

Low uptake among elderly

Many other countries with similar size populations are still only vaccinating people in retirement age.

“We moved to lower age groups because people are not interested in the vaccination,“ Martin Šuster, an economist and analyst specialising in the Covid-19 vaccination process in Slovakia, told The Slovak Spectator.

Latest data has shown that Slovakia has vaccinated far fewer elderly people than the EU average, although the overall vaccination rate is similar to that in other EU states. As of April 14, Slovakia had administrated 22 doses per 100 people, roughly the same as Italy, France, Norway, and Ireland. The figure in most EU countries ranges between 20 and 25 doses per 100 people.

But Slovakia lags significantly behind EU countries in terms of the number of doses administrated to those over 80.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

The Bratislava underpass under Hodža Square will become the Underpass of 16 November 1989 Students.

Nameless Bratislava Old Town places to receive names

John Selecky on an amazing search for his roots in Slovakia; lost tribute to Stalin taking on a modern twist.

7. máj
Justice Minister Mária Kolíková

Justice Minister Kolíková: I see no reason to step down

OĽaNO claims that the minister has failed to clear up all the allegations raised by the opposition.

24 h
Leatherworker Ondrej Sabela in his workshop.

Near rock bottom, artisans in Slovakia pray for a better season

The pandemic has forced some to find new jobs, leaving their trades behind.

6. máj
The Moderna vaccine

Age limit for Pfizer and Moderna jabs down to 45 years

Vaccination appointments further allocated strictly according to age and diagnosis.

8. máj