Prime minister lacks the power to push through Covid vaccine mandate in Slovakia

If the law is proposed to parliament, it would not gain enough support. There is another option.

PM Eduard Heger received the first AstraZeneca shot on May 1.PM Eduard Heger received the first AstraZeneca shot on May 1. (Source: SITA)

In theory he is the most powerful man in the country as prime minister, but though PM Eduard Heger says he unambiguously supports a Covid vaccine mandate, he is rather alone with that opinion among the ruling coalition representatives.

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Heger (OĽaNO) has the strongest allies in this issue in Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee) and the head of the smallest coalition party Za Ľudí, Veronika Remišová. Both are in favour of introducing a vaccine mandate.

The heads of the other two coalition parties, Richard Sulík of SaS and Boris Kollár of Sme Rodina, are both against, and the head of Heger's party OĽaNO, Igor Matovič, does not see the point in mandatory vaccination.

Related article How Slovakia failed to vaccinate its population Read more 

The possibility of a Covid vaccine mandate sailing through the parliament thus appears unrealistic for now.

Another option is that chief hygienist Ján Mikas would introduce the mandate with a simple ordinance. Medical law expert Ivan Humeník says that this is in fact all it takes to introduce mandatory vaccination.

Lengvarský and Mikas avoided commenting on such an option. It may also be due to the lack of support for mandatory vaccination among the coalition partners.

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