Top officials get jab to boost public trust in vaccination

Ljubljana – Senior Slovenian politicians got vaccinated with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Friday, after its application in Slovenia was briefly suspended this week for a review of possible risks.

Getting their jabs today were President Borut Pahor, parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič, Prime Minister Janez Janša and National Council president Alojz Kovšca.

Pahor said on the occasion that the vaccine was the main factor of change for the better, of return to normal life.

“I got vaccinated because I want to contribute to this epidemic ending as soon as possible. I understand that the vaccine is safe and efficient, and I trust science and experts who encourage us to get vaccinated,” the president said.

Pahor is convinced that enough people in Slovenia will get vaccinated so that Slovenians would be able to celebrate Statehood Day on 25 June in city squares to “witness the end of this epidemic and return to normal life.”

What he has heard from experts has convinced him that Slovenians will witness this.

“I think that this New Year’s wish could come true,” Pahor said, while calling on people to be ready for a third wave, a challenge he believes the nation will overcome as it has already showed solidarity and tolerance to understand the many concerns and troubles brought on by the disease.

The president said that he respected the reservations about vaccination expressed by many people, adding that these “should be addressed with arguments and hope that they will be heard.”

Kovšca said the jab was virtually painless. He said that they were informed about the possible effects of the vaccine and that they were all feeling fine after their jabs.

Several cabinet ministers were also vaccinated today, as was a part of MPs, while others are to be vaccinated on Monday.

The AstraZeneca vaccine was suspended in Slovenia on Monday and a decision was made on Thursday to resume its use after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) assessed it “safe and effective” following a review of possible blood clot risks.

Slovenia has over 14,000 shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine in store. So far about one percent of those who were vaccinated with AstraZeneca in Slovenia have reported adverse effects, roughly the same share as those who receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Also today, Mateja Logar, the head of the government’s Covid-19 task force, called on Slovenians to get vaccinated with whichever vaccine is available to them.

This comes a day after the Catholic Church advised believers to choose Pfizer/BionTech and Moderna vaccines, as the AstraZeneca vaccine production involves human fetus cells.