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Commission establishes that the death of a home for the elderly resident is not associated with vaccination

At a press conference, Borut Štrukelj, a professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana, and Jelko Kacin, the government spokesperson, provided the latest information on the COVID-19 situation in Slovenia.

Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana Borut Štrukelj.

Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana Borut Štrukelj. | Author Nebojša Tejić, STA

On 5 January 2021, the Ministry of Health established a special Commission in order to determine whether the adverse event of the death of one vaccinated person is associated with the vaccination against the COVID-19 communicable disease, explained Mr Kacin. The Commission consisted of four members: an infectious disease specialist, an epidemiologist, a cardiologist, and a representative of the Slovenian Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices.

Yesterday, on 6 January, the Commission issued its opinion, saying that a link between the death and the vaccination is not likely. Hence, the death was not caused by the COVID-19 vaccine but was the result of pre-existing health issues.

Yesterday, the share of positive PCR tests was 32.1%. Out of a total of 6,370 tests, 2,040 were positive. In addition, 11,910 rapid antigen tests were conducted, of which 623 were positive or 5.2%. In total, 18,280 coronavirus tests were performed and 2,663 new cases confirmed, which is a 14.5% positivity rate.

Yesterday, hospitals discharged 84 patients and admitted 95. As many as 189 patients required intensive care, and  treatment in hospitals was needed by 1,169 persons.  Slovenia recorded 23 deaths, of which 19 in hospitals and four in homes for the elderly.

Yesterday, the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases were recorded in the following municipalities: Nova Gorica (48), Ajdovščina (27), Koper (63), Brežice (43), Krško (51), Novo mesto (44), Sevnica (37), Zagorje ob Savi (43), Črnomelj (32), Celje (82), Dravograd (30), Laško (31), Šentjur (42), Slovenj Gradec (44), Žalec (35), Murska Sobota (43), Kranj (60), Ljubljana (235), Domžale (54), Ivančna Gorica (32), and Maribor (85).

On Wednesday, 106 residents and 45 employees of the homes for the elderly (totalling 151), and 19 residents and two employees from five social care institutions recovered. 

The following homes for the elderly yesterday reported the highest numbers of new cases: Zavod sv. Terezije Dobrepolje (24), Dom starejših Šentjur (21), Koroški dom starostnikov (18), and DU Ajdovščina (19).

Yesterday saw 21 new infections among residents and 17 among the staff of the homes for the elderly, and in the five social care homes, eight residents and four employees tested positive, which totals 50.

According to Professor Štrukelj, the Moderna vaccine is very similar to the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech. Children, adolescents, pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised against vaccination, as no clinical trials involving these groups were carried out. The Moderna vaccine has an efficacy rate between 40% and 50% after the first dose, and 95% after the second.

How long the vaccine protects you against COVID-19 is not known, but surveys are underway. What is known, however, is that on day 12 following the second dose, the vaccine reaches its full effect. The side effects are mild and disappear in 24 or 48 hours following vaccination.