Slovak PM backs mandatory COVID-19 vaccination

Slovakia will support a ban on importing all Russian commodities, including oil and natural gas, said Heger. [EPA-EFE / Szilard Koszticsak]

Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) said he would support mandatory vaccination in case of a new, more dangerous variant that would fill hospitals and put pressure on healthcare systems.

At the end of December, Heger asked the health ministry to review the legal possibility of mandatory vaccination. After a month, the review has concluded that such a move would be legal and presented four options of how it could be done.

“The analysis clearly states that the vaccines used against COVID-19 are safe, prevent the spread of disease as well as risks of hospitalisation and possible subsequent death. The benefits of vaccination are obvious,” Heger explained.

In regards to implementation, Heger said there is not enough data on Omicron’s effects on hospitals. His cabinet will therefore wait for the end of the wave to decide.

However, Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO) does not think forcing people into vaccination during the fourth pandemic wave would be smart. Lengvarský added that if the situation in the hospitals gets worse, he will support mandatory vaccination.

If implemented, mandatory vaccination would exclude people who cannot get vaccinated because of health risks.

On Tuesday, Slovakia reported a record number of 13,840 new COVID-19 cases. In some regions, 50% of tests are positive. The situation in hospitals is, however, stable.

(Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk)

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