Slovenia is changing its COVID-19 vaccination strategy and will start using the AstraZeneca vaccine for the immunisation of senior citizens, state-secretary responsible for vaccination Jelko Kacin said on Wednesday.
According to recommendations, until now AstraZeneca shots were administered only to people under the age of 65 and housebound disabled persons regardless of their age because that vaccine is more stable and easier to maintain than mRNA-based vaccines. Recently it was also used for mass inoculation of school staff.
The latest developments set a new priority group of those above 60 followed by anyone older than 50 while elderly people aged 75 or more should be vaccinated by the end of this week, said Kacin.
The government will do everything it can to secure the necessary amounts of vaccine for the adult population so they can be inoculated by the end of June.
The government has ordered seven million doses and is of the opinion that vaccination will need to be continued in the autumn due to new variants of the virus with more effective vaccines currently being developed.
Kacin said that a contingent of the Johnson & Johnson is expected by the end of April and that by the end of June when the entire adult population will have been inoculated, a shipment of 250,000 doses of that vaccine should arrive, which is applied in just one dose.
Opposition parties and some media outlets have criticised the government led by Janez Jansa because in December he waived the right to pre-order through the European Commission an additional quantity of the Pfizer vaccine.