RIGA - Latvian Medical Association supports vaccination as the safest and most efficient measure for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the association categorically opposes organizing a vaccine lottery.
Use of fiscal incentives to promote public health is only acceptable in exceptional cases, the association told LETA. Taxpayers' money must no longer be wasted on ineffective campaigns and the money must be used to strengthen Latvia's healthcare system instead.
The Medical Association's board emphasizes that a vaccine lottery and one-slogan campaigns are not the best way to educate and reach out to the public to promote vaccination against Covid-19. Moreover, the association believes that such actions devalue human life, because health and vaccination are not a game of chance.
The Medical Association also does not understand the projected cost of the vaccine lottery, because almost half of the total budget (approximately EUR 520,000) is to be allocated for advertising and not for winnings. According to the association, the money allocated for the lottery should better be used for treatment of Covid-19 patients and for strengthening the capacity of the healthcare system.
The Medical Association is calling on the government, ministries and Saeima to hire health professionals for informing and educating society, as well as to cooperate more closely with local governments and businesses who are able to address specific social groups more directly and effectively.