Slovakia: Sputnik V a slow seller

Slovakia has become the second EU country after Hungary to start vaccinating with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, which has not yet been approved in the EU. At the end of February, Igor Matovič, then prime minister, ordered 200,000 doses in Moscow - a move that ultimately cost him his job. Slovaks between the ages of 18 and 60, however, are proving much less willing to be vaccinated with Sputnik than expected.

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Pravda (SK) /

A major fiasco

In Pravda's view the deal was a complete failure:

“What was hailed as a coup has turned into a total embarrassment. Of the 500,000 or so people who were supposedly interested in Sputnik V, fewer than 5,000 have applied for vaccination so far. It turns out that sometimes there's a big disparity between declared and genuine interest. Especially when it comes to people who are so quick to praise anything that's not Western. It seems that the only ones interested in getting the Russian vaccine are a small percentage of the population over the age of 60. But this is precisely the age group that can't be vaccinated with it.”

Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Not even the politicians want it

The behaviour of the Slovak leadership in the Sputnik V case was far from exemplary, Lidové noviny concludes:

“When asked whether he would be willing to be vaccinated with Sputnik, without batting an eyelid the health minister replied that he wouldn't. And he was not the only one. Even ex-Prime Minister Matovič, who procured the Russian vaccine, gave the same answer, on the grounds that he has to travel a lot through Europe and could encounter problems if he is vaccinated with Sputnik. Politicians are supposed to set an example and boost the people's confidence in the vaccination campaign. But that is exactly what has not happened in Slovakia with Sputnik.”