Age limit for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reduced, Sputnik to be administered soon

Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský expects to start using the Russian vaccine starting in June.

AstraZeneca vaccines against Covid-19AstraZeneca vaccines against Covid-19 (Source: AP/TASR)

The vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna will now be administered to people aged 35 and over.

These vaccines will also be administered to people who have been given the vaccination appointment and were supposed to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee) confirmed.

For now, the vaccination of people aged 18-34 years who have not received any vaccine yet has been suspended due to the decision to suspend vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The ministry is expected to decide on the next steps concerning this age group in the coming days or weeks.

AstraZeneca still considered safe

As Lengvarský explained, the main reason for suspending the vaccination with AstraZeneca is that there are not enough of these vaccines in stock. Those who were vaccinated with the first shot and are waiting for the second one should receive it as planned.

Slovakia suspends the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. What does it mean? (Q&A) Read more 

Moreover, the vaccination with AstraZeneca should be restored.

“AstraZeneca is still considered safe,” Lengvarský said on May 12. “We plan to start administering it again, once there are enough supplies in stock.”

Sputnik to be used from June

Meanwhile, the ministry is working on some changes to the current system. It should be possible, for example, to pick one's preferred vaccine in the registration system soon.

This will include non-registered vaccines, like the Russian Sputnik V.

“Russia has signed an approval for its use here,” Lengvarský said on May 12. He expects the roll-out for people aged 18-60 to start in June. The country has received 200,000 doses so far but still needs to pay for them.

He added that the state will take full responsibility for people who opt for this vaccine.

The ministry should also make it possible for general practitioners to administer the vaccines. They will have all types of vaccines except for Pfizer/BioNTech, Lengvarský said.

Read more about the coronavirus vaccination in Slovakia:

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