Latvia currently has the EU's highest rates of Covid-19 infection. Pavļuts and Ammon, who had travelled in person to Rīga, expressed their assessments of the situation as it stands as well as the necessary path forward. The full press conference, which took place in Latvian and English, can be viewed above courtesy of LTV's news department.
"ECDC has been monitoring very closely the Covid situation in Europe and lately not only the epidemiological situation but also the situation regarding vaccination coverage. We have been talking to several countries where the vaccine coverage is lower than the European average, trying to see and find out how we can help them in a particular way, and that includes Latvia," Ammon told the online audience.
Available vaccines are "authorized, available and effective" Ammon said, stressing that widespread vaccination is required because the dominant Delta variant of the virus is easily transmissible.
"Because this virus is so easily transmissible, we need a high percentage of the population vaccinated to make sure that the spread of the virus is stopping," she said.
Vaccination is also effective in reducing the severity of Covid symptoms in many people, she added, and also said that reducing the burden of Covid on hospitals, they would be better able to cope with other healtch problems such as seasonal influenza.
"Vaccination is our way out of the pandemic. We have seen since last year waves coming, going, coming again and going again. Each time we've applied measures and hoped it's gone. It's not. The only way to get it really under control is with the vaccine. The vaccines are our ticket out of this pandemic," Ammon said.
She expressed hopes that people reluctant to take a vaccine could have their reservations addressed so that they would decide to get vaccinated, saying that each country needed its own tailored approach.