Requirement for student and healthcare employee vaccination lifted in Latvia

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On Tuesday, August 23, Latvian government lifted the requirement for students and healthcare workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The amendments to the Regulations prescribe that future students in colleges and universities need a vaccination or recovery certificate only in order to participate in the internship of the study program or in the acquisition of the practical part in the thematic area “Health Care” if the relevant educational institution has taken a decision on the need for a certificate.

Employers have the right to require that the employee has carried out vaccination in workplaces where there is a high risk of Covid-19 spread.

As indicated in the draft amendment annotation, vaccination is still important, in such a manner capable of protecting a person from serious illness and death. Thus, the definition of “fully vaccinated person” is updated, no longer mentioning when the vaccination was carried out or from which date the person was considered to have been vaccinated, but stressing that the person has been vaccinated with a number of doses of vaccine that provide a protective effect caused by the vaccine during the period in question.

The recommendations currently available show that sufficient protection is provided by vaccination with a vaccine adapted to the circulating Covid-19 type at the time, as explained in the annotation. This means that doses of vaccines will no longer be listed in the future, but, like seasonal influenza, people will be vaccinated with vaccines corresponding to the season of the virus circulation. In the autumn, people will be advised to receive the second booster vaccine as soon as it is available. The principle of one seasonal booster will be applied, said the State Council of Immunization.

Therefore, in the current circumstances, it is not rational for medical practitioners to maintain, in terms of employment, the requirement to carry out work duties only with a valid vaccination or recovery certificate. The rule stipulating this should therefore be lifted, and the seasonal vaccination scheme will apply as of September 1, according to the council.

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