COVID-19 vaccines should be available 2021 in Latvia

 Vaccines against COVID-19 from several manufacturers could be available in Latvia by the end of 2021, said Santa Livina, head of the Public Health Department at the Health Ministry, November 23, the LETA newswire reported.

According to Livina, the first vaccines against COVID-19 could arrive in Latvia in the first quarter of 2021. These vaccines will be primarily offered to employees at medical institutions, people living in nursing homes, as well as seniors, patients with chronic diseases, the police and the State Fire and Rescue Service employees.

It is too early to say how much such vaccines could cost, said Livina.

Dace Zavadska, head of the National Immunization Council, said vaccines were likely to prevent patients from dying or developing a serious illness, as well as the need to hospitalize them. However, it is not yet possible to predict whether Covid-19 vaccines will prevent mild forms of the coronavirus. It is also unknown whether these vaccines will help develop herd immunity.

State Agency of Medicines Director Svens Henkuzens explained that vaccine manufacturers' statements on the effectiveness of specific vaccines had not yet been verified. Registration with the European Medicines Agency has now begun for three vaccines. Usually this process takes a year, but now everything is being done so as to make the process as quick as possible, said Henkuzens.

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