Being vaccinated with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V is acceptable to approximately the same number of Slovaks as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, according to a survey carried out by Focus Agency in February.
The survey showed that some 55% of the participants said that they are willing to be vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, while approximately 35% would reject the American-German vaccine.
Surprisingly, the poll found that the Russian Sputnik V is the second most acceptable vaccine for Slovaks, ahead of the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines with 53% of Slovaks voting to be vaccinated with it, while 35% claimed to oppose its use.
According to Prime Minister Igor Matovič, these results show that the purchase of Russian vaccines is a “gamechanger” when it comes to the hesitation among the public on vaccinations.
“It was a crucial step to ensure that about half a million people will take a vaccine, who would not do so otherwise,” Matovič wrote on Facebook in reaction to the survey.
Last week, Matovič’s decision to purchase two millions doses of the Sputnik V vaccine sparked the biggest political crisis since last year’s parliamentary elections. Leaders of two junior coalition parties criticised the PM for his press conference welcoming the purchase of the Russian vaccines.
In Slovakia, it is not yet possible to choose which vaccine one gets administered with. The Sputnik V jab has not yet received authorisation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Although Health Minister Marek Krajčí granted emergency approval for the Russian vaccine last week, rollout of Sputnik V has not yet started. (Marián Koreň | EURACTIV.sk)