RIGA - Local authorities in Latvia's eastern province Latgale made a mistake by advising people to hold off vaccination for Covid-19 and promising them a vaccine from Russia, Jazeps Korsaks, a physician and an opposition member of Rezekne City Council, said in a discussion on Latgale's readiness to exit lockdown together with the rest of Latvia.
Korsaks believes that low vaccine uptake and high Covid-19 incidence in Latgale can be blamed on many factors and that politicians have made mistakes both on the local and nation level.
"There have been smaller and bigger mistakes on the part of the central government and local politicians. The mistake of the local politicians was to tell people to wait and promise them a vaccine from Russia," Korsaks said.
In his words, some politicians have been raising their political capital by calls against vaccination, even though they themselves are vaccinated.
Korsaks believes that people can be persuaded to take the jab through personal communication. The Rezekne councilor said he has had a positive experience with large companies like Rezeknes Galas Kombinats meatpacking company. At the beginning, only 30 of the company's 300 employees agreed to take the Covid-19 vaccine, but the next time over 130 employees were ready to get jabbed as they had observed their vaccinated colleagues and talked with them.