President encourages vaccination, calling it irresponsible to mistrust it

President encourages vaccination, calling it irresponsible to mistrust it

President Čaputová made the above statement concerning the current epidemiological situation on Wednesday 23 June 2021. She encouraged doubters to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

The president is certain that nobody wants to go back to the way of life we lived in the recent past. In connection with the fact that the new Delta variant of the virus has been confirmed even in Slovakia, she emphasized that according to epidemiologists there is a threat of a third wave of the pandemic in the autumn and even early measures on the borders will not fully prevent it.

In the president’s opinion, vaccination is the only genuinely effective method of preventing a relapse. "As opposed to the first two waves of the pandemic we can say that to get infected during the third wave will not be a matter of happenstance or careless behaviour, it will be predominantly a question of choice, a matter of the decision of each of us. It will not be the state or society to decide who is protected and who is vulnerable. It will be the virus. In the eyes of the virus, there will only be those who have been vaccinated and those who have not been vaccinated. There are still thousands among us who have yet to be vaccinated. They have postponed their decision, they hesitate, they are in no hurry, because they still cannot see a compelling reason to get vaccinated. That is why I am addressing you directly– please do not wait until the third wave arrives, because it could be too late. We are certain that the vaccination will protect you from the virus within several weeks after the second dose. Therefore, let’s use these vacation weeks and let’s prevent this risk."

According to the president, it is important to realize that Slovakia’s level of vaccination is one of the lowest within the EU.  The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are also better prepared for the third wave. She believes that in this situation it is very irresponsible to send signals questioning the vaccination, because they have a direct impact on our ability to overcome another wave of the pandemic with the fewest possible losses - of life, health and the economic situation of our families.  "I fully respect the right of the political opposition and every citizen to actively and publicly point out the failures of the government. The role of the government is to accept criticism and correct mistakes. However, our ability to face the pandemic should not become the subject of a political struggle. Nobody challenges anyone’s right to make a personal decision regarding the vaccination and nobody denies the fact that the vaccination is optional. The effort to reach collective immunity, this joint worldwide effort, is the manifestation of responsibility and solidarity, not herd mentality.  If a certain faction of the political opposition does not proactively encourage people to get vaccinated, at the very least it should not discourage them.  For this reason, I would like to ask our political leaders not to take steps which may have tragic consequences for all of us and to act with responsibility for the lives and health of our people.” 

In conclusion, the president noted that fear and uncertainty about something new, including vaccination-related things, is natural and human. She called on people to reconsider the extent of the risk which the new virus strains may cause to those not vaccinated. "We know how fast this virus can spin out of control. Let’s do the right thing not only for ourselves, but also for our entire society.”