Booster or bust: Foreigners still face vaccine barriers in Slovakia

How to have your Covid vaccine doses received abroad recognised in Slovakia.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

With hospitals on the verge of collapse and the daily number of new cases oscillating around 10,000, Slovakia is being thrashed by the third wave of the coronavirus. The government’s calls on inhabitants to get vaccinated are increasingly urgent.

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However, for some foreign nationals living in Slovakia who wish to get the Covid booster shot after receiving the first two vaccine doses abroad, this urgency does not always translate to easy access to the vaccine. The recognition of vaccine doses received abroad can prove to be a lengthy process.

People who have received the first or second doses in the US, for example, have vaccination certificates that are not officially recognised in Slovakia. As a result, getting a booster shot is not always straightforward.

“If I were to get the booster, it would just add to the document mess I have going on here,” said Mitch Leffer, an American with permanent residency in Slovakia.

Cat and mouse booster game

Foreign nationals with permanent residence in Slovakia are entitled to the Covid-19 vaccine and third booster dose. As of June 14, this includes foreigners with commercial health insurance. Those who get vaccinated get the EU Digital Covid Certificate with a scannable QR code that is recognised throughout the EU.

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