The plan was reviewed in the government following claims by the Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš and some political parties that Latvia is lacking "a clear and understandable plan for vaccination against Covid-19".
The Prime Minister, following this claim, said at a remote press conference that the absence of this plan has led to his decision to dismiss Health Minister Ilze Viņķele. Kariņš said that he would sign the document on demand of her resignation on Thursday.
Health Minister Viņķele, at another press conference held simultaneously with the MK conference, rushed to present the vaccination plan in question.
The Health Ministry's plan shows that the biggest potential volume in Q1 is associated with AstraZeneca vaccines which should be approved in the EU in near future. It is planned that 424 000 AstraZeneca vaccines will be received by Latvia in Q1, 98 000 from Pfizer, 63 000 from CureVac, and 42 000 from Moderna. In Q2, the highest number of vaccines is also planned to be purchased from AstraZeneca - 850 000.
Experts have said that AstraZeneca vaccines are easier to distribute and to store, and they are less costly.
It is planned that medical staff vaccination will be carried out throughout January. By the end of January and throughout February, social center residents and staff are planned to begin receiving vaccines.
It is planned that in February 2021 seniors over the age of 80, as well as emergency service teams, epidemiologists, police officers, firefighters, prison officers, Armed Forces soldiers and educators will begin to be vaccinated.
In March, vaccines will be available seniors over 65 and people with severe illnesses, such as cancer and malignant tumor sufferers, chronic kidney disease patients, persons with Down syndrome, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
In April, persons aged 60 to 64, as well as other chronic disease patients will be vaccinated, including asthma patients, persons with brain blood vessel disease, cystic fibrosis, dementia, oncological disease, type 1 diabetes, HIV.
It is estimated that in Q1, given the society's responsiveness, around 16% of Latvian residents will be vaccinated.
To achieve this goal, 50 131 vaccinations should be administered every week in the first three months of 2021. From April to July, both the delivered dose numbers and vaccinated person numbers should double.
Health Ministry estimates that the most vaccines will be administered by private medical establishments and general practitioner clinics - around 25 600 and 25 000 respectively. State and municipal hospitals should be able to provide 10 000 vaccinations a week, municipal ambulatory medical establishments - around 5000. Thus the total capacity should reach 65 600 vaccinations a week.
Medical establishments shall address the public and cooperate with other establishments to inform the public and agree on a schedule.
Health Ministry hopes that around 60% Latvian residents would be vaccinated until autumn.