RIGA - The government has discussed making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for people working in certain jobs, but making it compulsory also for schoolchildren would not be right, Health Minister Daniels Pavluts (For Development/For) told TV3 on Thursday.
This is Pavluts' opinion about several education workers' claims that the mandatory Covid-19 vaccination requirement should apply to not only education workers, but also to schoolchildren old enough to be vaccinated for Covid-19.
Most probably, the European Medicines Agency will have assessed all the available data by October to also permit vaccination of children from the age of five, which means that, theoretically, all schoolchildren could be vaccinated against the coronavirus, said Pavluts. He also agreed with the education and science minister that in-person learning is of critical importance.
"We have discussed making vaccination a duty for people working in certain jobs," said Pavluts. "There have been no discussions that residents must get vaccinated. That would be mandatory vaccination, and we have not proposed anything like that," said the minister.
The argument "if you want teachers to get vaccinated, schoolchildren must be vaccinated too" is unacceptable to Pavluts. "I don't support such a position. I believe it is important that adults choose this responsibility, also setting an example of how educated people working in certain jobs - health professionals, social workers, teachers, persons who provide services to risk groups - do get vaccinated. Employees in the state and the private sectors can make this requirement mandatory, and apparently it is also legitimate, judging from the Justice Ministry's conclusions," said Pavluts.
As reported, employers will be authorized to dismiss employees who will not have obtained their Covid-19 certificates by September 15, the Cabinet of Ministers decided July 6. The government also agreed to make vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory for medics, social workers and teachers, among others.