PRAGUE (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 08th March, 2021) France has fulfilled its pledge to send 15,000 AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine doses to Slovakia as a gift, Slovakian Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Sunday.
He also noted that the vaccine shipment would go to use starting Monday, adding that the elderly aged 60-70 would receive jabs since recent studies showed that the AstraZeneca vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalization by 94 percent in the fourth week after the first shot.
In response to Slovakia's request for assistance from the EU, a number of Western countries, including Romania and Poland, offered medical staff and the partial transportation of COVID-19 patients to their territory for treatment.
Earlier this week Slovakia received the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine, purchased from Moscow at the initiative of Matovic, a move condemned by the country's other high-ranking officials, as the Russian vaccine has not yet been authorized by the EU.
The country has been under a state of health emergency since October 2020. Earlier this week, the authorities updated the list of COVID-19 restrictions, adding a curfew from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m (7:00 to 00:00 GMT), and the mandatory wearing of respirators in public places later this month.
In December, the government kicked off a mass vaccination campaign, using vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, but later encountered delays and other issues with the shipments of the vaccines.