STA, 19 January 2021 - Prime Minister Janez Janša said he expected 70% of the Slovenian population could be vaccinated against coronavirus by the beginning of summer as he presented Tuesday fresh figures on planned deliveries of vaccines that indicate Slovenia should get significantly more jabs in the second quarter than previously thought.
Figures presented by Janša show deliveries in the first quarter should be 50,000 higher than indicated last week, as nearly 300,000 shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is to be delivered, along with 50,000 shots of the Moderna vaccine and nearly 559,000 shots of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, which is still awaiting approval by the European Medicines Agency.
In the second quarter Slovenia expects to get 2.4 million shots compared to fewer than 1.7 million shots projected last week, mostly due to a doubling of deliveries by Pfizer/BioNTech to 1.4 million shots.
"The second quarter will be the most important quarter ... If the deliveries come through, we'll achieve a 70% vaccination rate by the beginning of summer and contain the epidemic within our borders," Janša said.
The EU's goal, due to be confirmed by EU leaders at a virtual summit on Thursday, is to vaccinate all health workers and everyone over the age of 80 by March; 70% of the total population should get the vaccine by the summer.
According to Janša, Slovenia could achieve this objective a month earlier assuming all vaccine deliveries are made as scheduled.
Slovenia's vaccination strategy, adopted in December, remains unchanged, which means the elderly and critical staff - respectively persons with highest risk of severe Covid-19 and those at highest risk of contracting the virus - have priority.
Institutions performing the vaccinations have been instructed to have lists of vaccination candidates from the same priority group available in the event those scheduled for vaccination do not show up, or if they have excess shots for any other reason, according to Janša.
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