Vaccination pace differs noticeably between Latvia's East and West

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In Latvia's Western region Kurzeme hospitals, vaccination takes place significantly faster and in bigger volumes than in Eastern region Latgale, Latvian Radio reported January 13.

In Kurzeme, the smoothest vaccination process so far is in Liepāja regional hospital. 99% of doctors have received vaccines there and 40% of all hospital staff of 900 people, said head of the hospital Edvīns Striks.

"The vaccination process is fast, even unexpectedly fast. 99% of doctors have been vaccinated, four haven't because they have already had Covid-19 and will receive the shot later," said Striks.

He added that "those who were hesitant have now been vaccinated, but those who were against are now just hesitant."

In Ventspils hospital, 225 out of 655 employees have been vaccinated.  

"Those were the ones who had previously signed up but more want to receive the vaccine in the next round," said representative Juris Lācis. Ventspils hospital has also informed Health Ministry that their capacity is bigger and they are ready to receive more doses.

On the other hand, Daugavpils hospital in the East part of Latvia has only one tenth of employees vaccinated. 

Daugavpils hospital chair Grigorijs Semjonovs said that it has been planned to discuss vaccination with medical staff. In his opinion, the trust in vaccines could be enhanced if state officials get vaccinated first.

Asked whether language barrier might be an issue, given the proximity of the Russian border, Semjonovs said that most staff speaks both Latvian and Russian, so this would not be the main issue.

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