Latvia: concerns over vaccination rate of Russian speakers
The fourth wave is in full swing in Latvia. On 23 October 2,440 new infections were recorded - the highest figure since the beginning of the pandemic. Restrictions on public life are now once again in place. The pace of vaccination increased markedly in October, but so far only just under 60 percent of the population have received one jab and the vaccination rate is considerably lower in the Russian-speaking parts of the country.
Counterproductive ideas instead of real strategies
Diena criticises the Latvian government:
“Does it even have a plan? One gets the impression that it is using the time to sleep in. Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš' ideas for the short term - compulsory vaccination from the age of 50 and unvaccinated patients being made to pay for their hospital stay themselves - are not a proper plan. On the contrary. These ethically questionable remarks undermine the government's credibility in a section of society with which it needs to work together intensively now - the unvaccinated Russian speakers. ... Although the issue has been on the agenda for almost a year, no answers have been found.”
Anxiously waiting for the EMA
In Latvijas avīze, physician Pēteris Apinis expresses the wish that Russian-speaking Latvians at least get vaccinated with Sputnik:
“What am I really hoping for? ... I really hope that the European Medicines Agency will approve the Sputnik Light vaccine, which is a one-time vaccination, as soon as possible. Then about ten percent of the population of Latvia, influenced by the content of the channels of neighbouring Russia and by the social networks in Russian, will get vaccinated with this vaccine. And this will quickly bring us closer to collective immunity.”