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Infectologist Dumpis: low vaccination rates among risk groups are worrying

In Latvia, the number of patients with Covid-19 is alarming, and these patients are from risk groups who have had vaccines available for several months, said Stradiņš hospital infectologist, University of Latvia professor Uga Dumpis, in an interview on Latvian Television June 15.

The situation with the spread of Covid-19 has improved considerably, but the incidence is still high. Medics are concerned about the number of patients in hospitals and the proportion of those with severe symptoms.

Dumpis said that many severely ill Covid-19 patients were from those population groups that should have been vaccinated in February, but they haven't received the jab. “So we still see patients who should have been vaccinated. And it is our greatest concern that there is a relatively small vaccination reach in risk groups,”  Dumpis said.

The proportion of vaccinated people in risk groups is not even 50%. Dumpis said that in Denmark, for example, this figure is up to 90-100% in the risk group. As regards the vaccination of school workers, Dumpis was optimistic, also vaccination of medics was not rapid initially but now most have got the jabs. “So we have time still,” he said, adding that the transmission of infection through children in schools is a frequent occurrence.

The infectologist also pointed to the myth that those who have had Covid-19 have better protection against coronavirus than the vaccinated ones. “The science shows the opposite – the former patients have poorer protection than the vaccinated ones,” he said.

Asked about the need for a booster, Dumpis said there were discussions about it, but no answers yet. He conceded that a booster might be needed for individual population groups with lower immunity, but if the virus changes significantly, then for a wider circle.

Dumpis encouraged the society to be careful, especially in rooms and also in situations where vaccinated are with the unvaccinated, as the Midsummer celebration approaches.

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