The center is scheduled to start work at 9:00, but around 150 people were waiting in line by 8:00, unnamed eyewitnesses told LSM's Latvian-language service.
By the time the doors opened, that number had grown to around 500 according to the bureau responsible for the national vaccination effort.
Rinda pie “Atta Centre” šobrīd izveidojusies gara, aptuveni 500 cilvēku rinda.— Vakcinācija Latvijā (@VakcinacijaLV) April 16, 2021
Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts told Latvian Television that this weekend it was planned to administer around 25,000 AstraZeneca vaccines that had remained from Easter, when there was little demand for them among priority groups as people were “undeservingly skeptical” about that specific vaccine as a result of press coverage linking it to blood clots.
Pavļuts added the vaccine is safe, the side effects with the formation of blood clots are extremely rare and “it is more dangerous to get in the car and drive than to get vaccinated with AstraZeneca.” The minister also said that higher supplies of vaccines are expected by the end of April and will be so voluminous that mass vaccination centers will open again.
To see locations where the general population may go and get a jab on a first come, first serve basis, read our other story.
LTV's news department was showing live pictures of the line with officials saying the current waiting time was around 90 minutes.
By mid-afternoon, demand at vaccination centers in Rīga, Jelgava and Jūrmala was so great that the general queue was closed with only priority groups continuing to receive their shots. Jelgava and Jūrmala ceased non-priority vaccinations at around 13:30, with Rīga following suit two hours later.
In total, almost 2,200 people have been vaccinated in vaccination centers in Riga, Jelgava and Jurmala by 13.30.