Matovic said his country will get 1 million shots in the next two months while another million will arrive in May and June.
Slovakia is the second European Union country to use the vaccine, which hasn’t been approved by the European Medicines Agency, after Hungary. It hasn’t been registered by Slovakia’s drug authority, but the deal was made possible by Health Minister Marek Krajci’s approval.
Matovic said the nation of 5.4 million will be able to speed up the vaccination program by 40%.
“Nobody has a recipe other than the necessity to inoculate,” Krajci said.
Slovakia became the country with the most COVID-19 deaths by size of population in the world amid a surge of a fast-spreading British coronavirus variant.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Slovakia’s hospitals reached a new record high of 4,008 on Sunday — a situation that has recently prompted leaders to appeal for outside help.
Matovic kept the deal secret, announcing it on Monday only after a military cargo plane with the 200,000 doses of the vaccine landed in the eastern Slovak city of Kosice.
Krajci said the authorities might start to administer the vaccine — possibly in about two weeks.
“I’m glad that the citizens of Slovakia will have this vaccine at their disposal,” he said, adding it will be administered on a voluntary basis.
Duda aide Krzysztof Szczerski said whether or not Poland ends up buying the Chinese vaccines will be a decision of the Polish government, but that Duda welcomed the Chinese leader’s willingness to make his country’s vaccines “a global public good.”
Source: ABC news Photo:The Associated Press. Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine arrives at Kosice Airport, Slovakia, Monday March 1, 2021