Special bureau to be established to ensure mass Covid-19 vaccination

  • 2021-01-12
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - A special bureau will be established to ensure mass vaccination against Covid-19, said Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) in a press conference today.

He said that the epidemiological situation in the country is very serious and critical. "We cannot relax yet," he said.

The prime minister said that the government and the Crisis Management Council meeting on Tuesday heard the vision of new Health Minister Daniels Pavluts (For Development) about how to organize mass vaccination.

"The vision is clear - there will be a special bureau with the sole task to organize and manage the vaccination process," said Karins, adding that the bureau will employ people whose direct duty will be to organize vaccination.

"We are facing a huge challenge. In order to achieve a publicly safe level in relation to the virus outbreak and return to normal life, we have to vaccinate about 1.5 million residents. It is a huge task, but it can be done if this project is set as the priority of the government and if it is respectively and professionally managed as a large cross-sectional priority project," said Pavluts.

Thus, the minister has proposed a new organizational model and plans to establish a separate government unit - project bureau or head quarters - for the purpose. The government supported this plan in principle.

The Health Ministry will submit a draft decision on the bureau to the government on January 14. Also, the ministry will require funding from the government so that the project manager and other specialists can be recruited as soon as possible.

"I hope that if the government makes this decision officially, the bureau may start work next week," said Pavluts.

Also, the government today discussed development of hospital reserves, getting ready for the possibility of the worst scenario if the new and more infectious virus spreads further in Latvia and hospitals are overloaded.