The plan for the implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination strategy prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture was submitted to the government for consideration on Tuesday, January 5, however, its consideration was postponed to today.
Kariņš pointed out that the plan will be considered by the government after the new Minister of Health is approved.
According to the Prime Minister, he has discussed the issue of the Covid-19 vaccination plan with the candidate for the position of the Minister of Health Daniel Pavļuts (AP), moreover, both sides have similar views on the necessary improvements in the plan. According to the Prime Minister, he expected Pavluta to be approved as a minister.
As reported, the untimely vaccination plan for Covid-19 was one of the reasons why Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (JV) decided to demand the resignation of the Minister of Health Ilze Ņķele (AP).
On Tuesday, Kariņš pointed out that the Cabinet of Ministers was eagerly waiting for three meetings when the Minister of Health would present the plan, which was published only on Tuesday. The Latvian Association of General Practitioners also publicly stated that it had not been informed about such a plan. The Prime Minister acknowledged that general practitioners have a central role in vaccination. the Prime Minister does not see that local governments are involved in the plan process.
The Prime Minister informed that he had received a draft vaccination plan against Covid-19 developed by the Ministry of Health from President Egils Levits on Monday evening, but the final version of the plan had not yet been prepared and submitted to Tuesday’s government meeting, which was scheduled to start at 10 am. .
Kariņš added that the government will continue to work with the vaccination plan developed by the Ministry of Health and, if necessary, improve it. “This is an important plan because it shows how to get out of the crisis. Vaccination gives an opportunity to get out of the crisis,” Kariņš emphasized. He has already admitted that he wants to see a faster pace of vaccination.
The implementation of the Latvian Covid-19 vaccination plan is mainly related to AstraZeneca vaccines, but the main vaccination capacities could be provided by family doctors and private medical institutions.
The plan submitted by the Ministry of Health shows that in the first quarter of this year, the highest potential vaccination volume is related to AstraZeneca vaccines, the approval of which by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently delayed. AstraZeneca is expected to receive around 424,000 vaccines in the first quarter, BioNTech / Pfizer around 98,000, CureVac 63,000 and Moderna around 42,000. Moderna is currently in second place to apply for vaccine registration.
Similarly, in the second quarter of the year, the largest number of vaccines – around 850,000 – is expected to be sourced from AstraZeneca. Experts and officials have explained that AstraZeneca vaccines are easier to distribute and use than BioNTech / Pfizer products because they have less specific storage temperature requirements and are cheaper.
According to ESA’s planned vaccine registration schedule and vaccine supply estimates provided by vaccine manufacturers, it is projected that vaccines will be delivered in January 2021 to ensure vaccination of medical personnel and vaccination of long-term social care clients and employees in January or February 2021. in February.
It is planned that in February 2021 it will be possible to start vaccination of seniors over 80 years of age. Thus, it is forecasted that in the first quarter of the year, if there is an optimal equality of vaccinees, it is possible to provide vaccination opportunities for 16% of the Latvian population. In total, by the end of March 2021, manufacturers have promised to supply vaccines to vaccinate about 325,000 people.
In order to perform the projected number of people to be vaccinated without queues, an average of 50,131 vaccination episodes per week should be provided in the first three months of 2021, according to the amount of vaccines available each month. From April to June 2021, the projected volume of vaccines delivered will double, so the plan acknowledges that the capacity of vaccination rooms should be doubled, providing 100,000 vaccination episodes per week.
The plan links the main vaccination capacities to GPs and private healthcare facilities, but it is not clear whether they are already contracted to provide the service.
The Ministry of Health estimates that private health centers could provide about 25,600 vaccinations per week, including the MFD group – about 17,000, the “Health Center Association” – about 3,700, “Health Center 4” – about 1,800, and the rest – about 3,000.
GP practices are able to provide about 25,000 vaccinations per week, state and municipal hospitals – about 10,000, municipal outpatient facilities – about 5,000, thus the total vaccination capacity is estimated at about 65,600 vaccines per week.
It follows from the plan that it will be the vaccination authorities who will be required to address the persons to be vaccinated and to work with other authorities to schedule vaccination and follow-up vaccination after four weeks for each person at the interval specified in the SPC.
Vaccination authorities will also be required to maintain a schedule for primary vaccination and to remind vaccinated persons of their arrival for primary vaccination. According to this schedule, the required number of vaccine doses will be ordered once a week. To order vaccines, you will need to fill in a form and send it electronically to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (SPCC).
Queuing and waiting lists will be developed in a decentralized way – in each vaccination facility, similar to influenza vaccination – 200,000 doses in two months. From the VM’s point of view, this will provide vaccination authorities with the opportunity to monitor the vaccination process and promptly provide reserves for vaccination of vaccinees and reduce the risk of vaccine losses.
The MoD hopes that by the autumn of this year, 60% of the Latvian population could be vaccinated against Covid-19.