Slovakia: Shop assistants, drivers sign up for AstraZeneca vaccine

AstraZeneca jab. [Shutterstock/Juan Roballo]

Shop assistants, train conductors and chief guards, public transport drivers, taxi drivers, and public transport controllers aged 18 to 55 have been able to sign up for vaccination with the UK-Swedish Astrazeneca vaccine as of 27 February, the health ministry said.

Teachers and other teaching and non-teaching staff in schools in that same age group have been receiving the AstraZeneca jab since mid-February.

Even though school personnel was supposed to be the main group to receive the vaccine, there are more vaccines available than people on the lists from schools, the health and education ministries confirmed. There are 27,000 available slots for the coming week.

However, critics say the country – which currently tops the number of coronavirus infections and COVID-19 related deaths – should focus on vaccinating the most vulnerable citizens, including age groups above 55, as well as patients with chronic diseases instead.

Critics and opposition members have also warned that the likelihood of dying from COVID-19 increases with age. Compared to patients aged between 30 and 39, twice as many in the 40-49 age group die in Slovak hospitals. 

To develop collective immunity against the coronavirus, at least 3.3 million Slovaks need to be vaccinated. Almost 133,400 people received their second dose as of Monday.

(Lucia Yar | 

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