LJUBLJANA, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Slovenia decided on Monday to recommend the priority use of mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccines against COVID-19, such as those produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Monday.
The ministry follows recommendations of the government's advisory group of experts, according to which vector vaccines (those produced by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson) should only be used if a person requests it specifically or if a person has contraindications to mRNA vaccines.
Slovenia has so far administered AstraZeneca's vector vaccine. The use of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine (Janssen) was temporarily suspended on Sept. 29 after a 20-year-old woman died days after receiving the Janssen shot. The investigation into the exact cause of her death is ongoing.
Slovenia will also recommend that persons below the age of 30 should be vaccinated with Pfizer's Comirnaty mRNA vaccine, citing data that shows that Moderna's vaccine poses a "somewhat higher risk" of heart inflammation, the ministry said.
The ministry also recommends the use of a third (booster) vaccine dose in all people over the age of 65, and to also make it available to everyone above the age of 18.
According to the National Institute of Public Health, 49.4 percent of Slovenians have so far been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.