Govt tweaks exemptions from quarantine, donates vaccines to COVAX

Ljubljana – The government changed on Friday a decree setting out exemptions from mandatory quarantine after a high-risk contact, so that those vaccinated against Covid-19 will be exempted from this indefinitely for now. The government also decided to donate some 578,300 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to COVAX.

Those inoculated against Covid-19 have been so far exempted from compulsory self-isolation for up to nine months after becoming fully immunised, but now this condition will be lifted as epidemiologists consider the protection to last indefinitely until new facts are known and it is clear when a booster dose will be needed.

The government thus followed a proposal by the vaccination advisory group of the National Institute of Public Health, reads a press release by the Government Communication Office. The change becomes effective a day after being published in the Official Gazette. The next Official Gazette is expected to be released next Friday.

Under another decision at today’s correspondence session, the government will donate Slovenia’s remaining supplies of the Vaxzevria vaccine, manufactured by AstraZeneca, to the COVAX facility, a global mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

The donation includes an estimated 578,336 doses of the vaccine that were ordered under a joint EU public procurement and not yet delivered to the country. The government pointed out that maximising access to effective, high-quality and safe vaccines against Covid-19 was the only way on global level to tackle the pandemic, highlighting the importance of high global vaccination coverage and noting that the share of vaccinated people in developing countries was negligible.

This comes after the vaccination advisory group recommended on Monday that mRNA vaccines should be used in Slovenia in preference to viral vector vaccines, of which AstraZeneca and Janssen are the two used in the country. These two will only be available on request.

According to the government, the need and demand for AstraZeneca vaccines remain relatively high on global level.