News digest: Slovakia's first Sputnik recipients have received their first shots

Vaccination with Pfizer vax now open to teenagers. Slovakia most likely to recognise Sputnik V in foreigners. Agriculture minister changed his mind about resignation.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Monday, June 7 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes. We wish you a pleasant read.

For a more in-depth view of the week’s events, check out the latest Last Week in Slovakia overview published earlier today. You can also sign up for the weekly newsletter with one click here.

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Russian vaccine rollout begins

Slovakia launched the vaccination with the unregistered Russian vaccine Sputnik V on Monday, June 7. People aged 18 - 60 are eligible for the jabs.

There are eight vaccination centres around the country, one in each self-governing region. On Monday, only Bratislava and Žilina administered the first Sputnik V vaccines, while other vaccination centres are expected to join in the coming days. In the eastern-Slovak town of Michalovce, vaccination starts on June 12.

The ministry expected the interest in Sputnik V to number in the tens of thousands. So far only thousands have registered for the Russian vaccine in Slovakia. Igor Matovič, OĽaNO leader and the now finance minister who negotiated the purchase of the vaccines, wrote on Facebook over the weekend that the Health Ministry received a document from the Russian manufacturer of the vaccine, which should allow Slovakia to use it on people older than 60 as well. The ministry confirmed receiving the document, but for now the age limit remains as originally set.

More coronavirus and vaccination news:

  • Slovakia will most likely recognise the Sputnik V vaccination in foreigners, even though the vaccine manufacturer has not yet requested the authorisation of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok confirmed on Monday.
  • The vaccination of teenagers older than 12 has been launched in Slovakia, making them eligible for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Only 41 percent of people in Slovakia agree with the vaccination of teenagers, a survey by the Focus polling agency shows. 50 percent of those polled said they somewhat disagree or definitely do not agree with the vaccination of children.
  • The combination of Covid vaccines is currently not allowed in Slovakia. The National Centre for Health Information (NCZI) warned that those who receive an invitation for a vaccine different to their first shot should just ignore the message and wait for the correct one.
  • None of Slovakia's districts is in the black tier as of Monday, while two districts are in the green tier with minimum limitations. See the measures that apply in individual districts here.

Travelling in Covid times

  • As of Monday, June 7, Slovakia classifies as an orange-tier country. People from Slovakia can enter with an antigen test not older than 24 hours or PCR test not older than 72 hours. Arrivals to the Czech Republic are required to fill out an online form before entering the country. An exception applies to anyone travelling to Czechia for no longer than 24 hours.
  • As of June 8, police checks on internal borders and at airports will be less intensive and rather sporadic. Small road border crossings and tourist routes from Poland and Czechia will open as well. Restrictions only apply to the border with Hungary.

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Mičovský changed his mind, but will still be replaced

Outgoing Agriculture Minister Ján Mičovský (OĽaNO) has changed his mind about the resignation he filed on May 25.

He cited the supportive statements that he received in reaction to his announced resignation, that convinced him not to “flee from the fight”.

Mičovský also sent a letter to the Presidential Palace on withdrawing the resignation and notified PM Eduard Heger.

The government’s office responded that PM Heger has agreed with President Čaputová on the new agriculture minister, Samuel Vlčan. Heger decided so despite the fact that Mičovský discussed his decision with him in the morning.

Largest developers in Slovakia (ranking)

The largest developers in Slovakia sold 2,525 flats in 2020, providing nearly 140,000 square metres of residential spaces, 80,000 square metres of office space and 42,390 square metres of logistics and industrial real estate.

This stems from information the companies provided to the Largest in Business ranking of developers by The Slovak Spectator.

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