Mass vaccination begins in Slovenia from Monday

Older and more vulnerable age groups continue to take priority. [Shutterstock/PX Media]

Slovenia’s vaccine roll-out is expected to gather momentum from Monday, as vaccination opens to all adults. Last week, after a nationwide vaccination booking app was launched, more than 30,000 people registered in less than two days.

Older and more vulnerable age groups continue to take priority. Data released by the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) on Sunday show that nearly half a million people, or almost a quarter of Slovenia’s population have received the first COVID-19 jab, with roughly 12% of the population fully vaccinated.

Slovenia got off to a good start with vaccination but after a series of hold-ups due to problems with vaccine deliveries, incompatible booking systems, and frequent changes of the national vaccination strategy, it now ranks below the EU average by the overall number of doses administered.

Urging people to get vaccinated for their own sake and the sake of others, Prime Minister Janez Janša tweeted that enough vaccines would be secured for everyone by summer.

“In the supplies are as planned, it is possible to have 60% of the adult population vaccinated by the end of June,” Mateja Logar, the government’s chief COVID-19 adviser, has said.

In May, Slovenia expects deliveries of at least 450,000 doses of the four EU-approved COVID-19 vaccines. However, as the issue of supplies appears to be largely resolved, vaccine hesitancy and aversion may prove to be more of a problem.

Successive polls have found that over a third of the population does not intend to get vaccinated, though pollsters say this sentiment may change once more people are vaccinated and once vaccination starts to facilitate travel and leisure.

NIJZ data show Slovenia has recorded more than 246,000 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, which corresponds to roughly 12% of the population, one of the highest rates in the world. (Ela Petrovčič | STA)

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