AstraZeneca vaccination has been suspended

The Health Ministry promises to administer second shot to those waiting as planned.

AstraZeneca vaccineAstraZeneca vaccine (Source: TASR)

The Health Ministry has suspended the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people awaiting the first jab.

The decision was made after the State Institute for Drug Control (ŠÚKL) reported the death of a 47-year-old woman, probably related to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Blood clots are among the very rare side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

For now, only people awaiting the second AstraZeneca shot will receive it.

“The Health Ministry is currently considering several alternatives on how we will proceed in this matter in Slovakia; we are completing all expert opinions and we will report everything later this week,” said Zuzana Eliášová, ministry spokesperson.

Vaccine for younger people

Link between AstraZeneca and blood clots confirmed. Early diagnosis important Read more 

More than 423,000 people have been administered the first shot of AstraZeneca in Slovakia and more than 26,000 people have received the second shot as well.

The AstraZeneca vaccines had been administered to people younger than 60, with the limit gradually decreasing. Currently, it was supposed to be administered to people younger than 45 years of age.

The Denník N daily reported on May 10 that about 177,000 people aged 18-44 have registered in a virtual waiting room for AstraZeneca vaccines.

Matovič announces Sputnik V roll-out

Slovakia is currently administering two mRNA vaccines, by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, and a vector vaccine by AstraZeneca. The country is expected to use another vaccine by Johnson & Johnson soon. All of them have been registered with the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The country has also discussed the use of another vector vaccine, Sputnik V, although it has not been registered by the EMA.

ŠÚKL: We will not succumb to political pressure Read more 

The roll-out of the vaccine has not been launched, due to the months-long testing of vaccines.

However, Finance Minister Igor Matovič (OĽaNO), who negotiated the deal when serving as prime minister, wrote on Facebook on May 10 that the vaccine roll-out in Slovakia will start soon. He referred to the successful tests in the Hungarian labs.

The Health Ministry responded that they do not know about the Russian side giving approval to administer the vaccine in Slovakia. The Russians have taken some vaccine samples recently to test it in their own labs, expected to give a decision only after these tests are over.

Meanwhile, the producer of Sputnik has asked ŠÚKL, through its official Twitter account, to issue a public apology for spreading incorrect information on the Sputnik V vaccines. ŠÚKL said in its statement that the vaccines delivered to various countries across the world only have their name in common.

The Russian Fund for Direct Investment, the main marketer of Sputnik, has also sent a letter to Veronika Folentová, reporter of the Denník N daily, asking her to remove or correct a story, in which the daily reported on ŠÚKL’s findings.

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