Slovenia to seek “additional options” for vaccines

Ljubljana – Prime Minister Janez Janša has announced that Slovenia will look for “additional options for vaccine supplies” amidst sluggish supplies from the joint EU purchase.

“We are working in this direction. Of course it is still necessary to prioritise safety, credibility and trust in the vaccine,” he told the National Assembly Tuesday, just before the vote on the new health minister.

While Janša did not go into detail, Milan Krek, the head of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), said last week that Slovenia would insist on using vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency.

Vaccine supplies will be one of the main topics of the summit of EU leaders this week. Janša said once the outcome of the summit is clear, he would invite all stakeholders to a meeting where the future vaccination dynamics will be presented in greater detail.

Almost 100,000 Slovenians have so far received one shot of a coronavirus vaccine, roughly 4.5% of the population, and just over 50,000 have received both shots, making Slovenia one of the best performers in the world.

But Janša noted that if this pace continued, “the epidemic would last for years”. He said Europe had to be capable of securing enough vaccines by June and said he saw no reason why additional efforts and resources would not be deployed.