Latvia: registration for jab but no vaccine?
In Latvia, a new website called manavakcina.lv. was launched on the weekend where anyone who wants to can register for vaccination against Covid-19. As of Tuesday, 62,000 people had registered. Vaccinations have got off to a very slow start in the country, with only around 18,000 of its nearly two million inhabitants having been received the jab so far. The country's press doesn't believe the new website will improve the situation.
Diena says the campaign makes no sense:
“Online registration doesn't help people get a place in the queue, nor can it fill the void in terms of the missing vaccine doses. There are two obvious goals behind this project. Firstly, it serves as an opinion poll to find out what proportion of the population is willing to be vaccinated. Secondly, it takes us back to Soviet times when people responded to shortages by standing in line. ... But what manavakcina.lv really shows is that the healthcare system is not at all prepared to deal with crises. Because we already have a multi-million euro electronic healthcare system. Surely people could have registered via that platform?”
A lot of money for a primitive website
Neatkarīgā is surprised at how much the site cost:
“On the one hand it's wonderful that the rate of vaccination is accelerating, because Latvia is tragically lagging behind the rest of the world. But did we really need to spend 1.45 million euros on this? Even the very stingy Treasury Department didn't quibble and immediately forked out the requisite funds from it's emergency budget. ... That kind of money can buy you an IT solution for 10 million users not just in the entire Baltic region but also in parts of Ukraine. Some experts claim the whole project is worth no more than 50,000 euros. Last weekend manavakcina.lv already 'crashed' with just 25,000 users. That shows how primitive the site is, at least so far.”