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Matura graduates should apply to be vaccinated no later than on 19 April by 12:00

Vesna Kerstin Petrič, Director-General of Public Health Directorate at the Ministry of Health, attended today’s press conference on the current situation regarding COVID-19.

A total of 4,253 PCR tests and 24,220 rapid antigen tests were carried out yesterday. The PCR tests confirmed 860 new cases (as many as 1,279 a week ago). The 7-day incidence rate of new cases amounts to 871 according to the data published by the National Institute of Public Health today (931 yesterday). Some 639 persons are hospitalised, of whom 152 require intensive care. Five COVID-19 deaths were recorded in Slovenia yesterday.

Petrič: Priority vaccination for matura graduates

Vesna Kerstin Petrič, Director-General of Public Health Directorate at the Ministry of Health, explained the changes to the national vaccination strategy updated yesterday. With the latest change, matura graduates and the staff involved directly in the implementation of the matura examination (who have not yet been vaccinated) are now listed among the priority groups to be vaccinated, including the parents of particularly vulnerable chronically ill children. The matura graduates and the staff are listed in the same group as persons above the age of 60 and chronic patients. There are 18,000 matura graduates this year, but the Director-General believes that placing this group on the priority list will not affect the timely vaccination of other groups on this list.

Petrič highlighted that the purpose of this change was to enable the secondary school students in their final year to be more relaxed when preparing for the matura examination and to sit for the exams in the safest possible environment.

She also explained that the vaccination will be voluntary. Those who decide to be vaccinated must apply today or on Monday, 19 April, by 12:00 at the latest in the vaccination centre of the community health centre of their permanent residence. Immediate application is crucial, as the timely supply of vaccines to the vaccination centres depends on it. The vaccination centres are informed accordingly thereof and will start vaccinating matura graduates with priority as soon as 23 April 2021. Matura graduates above the age of 18 will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, and those under the age of 18 will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

In her response to questions from the press, Petrič also communicated that the Sputnik V vaccine was entered on the list of approved vaccines and vaccine candidates. The date when this vaccine will be available in Slovenia is not yet known.