Some 7,600 jabbed on first day of nation-wide campaign

Ljubljana/Maribor – Roughly 7,600 people got their coronavirus jabs on Sunday as the nation-wide campaign kicked off in a bid to ramp up Slovenia’s vaccination rate. By far the largest share got booster shots.

Visiting a vaccination centre in Maribor, Health Minister Janez Poklukar was happy with the turnout. “Yesterday, 33 times as many Slovenian residents as the Sunday before were vaccinated,” he said.

Of those vaccinated on Sunday, 486 got their first jab, 561 had their second and the rest got boosters, according to Poklukar.

Data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) shows out of 7,571 doses administered on Sunday, 7,211 were Pfizer/BioNTech jabs, 357 Moderna jabs and three the single-shot Janssen jab, which is only available at the individual’s explicit request following a death linked to the vaccine.

According to the NIJZ, a total of 1,242,137 or 59% of the entire population have had their first jab, and 1,179,177 or 56% have been fully vaccinated. Government figures show 384,516 got boosters as of 19 December.

The vaccination centre at the Adolf Drolc Community Health Centre has vaccinated 460 people as part of the campaign, which Poklukar said was twice as many as during the whole week before.

Only 25 got their first shots and 370 boosters, with the rest getting their second doses. The situation was similar at other health centres across the country, some of which are open round the clock for the duration of the campaign until Thursday.

At the Maribor medical centre 107 people were vaccinated during the night, and 60 got their night shots at Ljubljana UKC. Only five of those in Maribor and two of those in Ljubljana got their first jabs.

Elsewhere night-time vaccination attracted even fewer people and no one turned up at the Golnik Clinic of Pulmonary and Allergic Diseases in the north of the country.

Encouraging people to get their jabs as well as boosters, Poklukar noted that of the 215 Covid-19 patients treated in intensive care 84% were not vaccinated with a similar share at regular wards.

He noted the threat of the Omicron variant, saying that so far 12 cases of the highly-infectious variant had been confirmed in Slovenia, 13 suspected cases, and 91 of their contacts were quarantining.