Minister: too soon for 'live queues' at vaccination centers

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Until supply issues have been fully resolved and the most at-risk groups have been vaccinated, it is too early to see a so-called “live queue” or line for vaccination at Covid-19 vaccination centers, Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts (“Development/For!”) said March 31 during an interview on the LTV show "Today's Question".

Covid-19 vaccines are currently being made available to physicians, seniors over the age of 70, and people with chronic illnesses. The Minister noted that the latter group is very large, and so far only 6% of chronic patients have been vaccinated. "There is still very, very much to do," he added.

After Easter, other priority groups could be introduced - people who care for the seriously ill at home or live in the same household with children who have certain chronic and immunosuppressive diseases.

At the same time, Pavluts said that it would be too early to introduce a "live queue" at the moment. 

"This will be the first weekend where the vaccination will reach mass-scale proportions. We currently have a large debt to those [priority] groups because there has been a shortage of vaccines for three months. [This will be] The first weekend, when we can start vaccinating more quickly and protect the most vulnerable groups," said the Minister.

It is hoped that during Easter, some 20-30 thousand people in Latvia will be vaccinated.

Given the uneven supply of vaccines after Easter and until the end of April, when the next major deliveries are expected, mass vaccination centers could temporarily close their doors. At the same time, vaccination could be continued by GPs, Pavļuts suggested.

On April 1 he tweeted: "We are ready" along with a picture of one of the new vaccination centers. He urged people to register for vaccination and then wait to be informed about the time slot at which they should arrive.

Latvia has applied for vaccines developed by seven manufacturers - BioNTech / Pfizer, Moderna Biotech Spain, AstraZeneca, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), CureVac, Novavax and Valneva .

Covid-19 mass vaccination centers  are scheduled to be fully operational in May. But due to the arrival of some vaccines this week, the centers will be opened during the Easter holidays.

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