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Covid-19 vaccine

How does the vaccine work and when will it be available in Latvia?

Last update 02.03.2021

Voluntary vaccination against Covid-19 is a safe way to protect yourself from symptomatic viral disease. Therefore, it is the only real step towards the possibility of returning to the life that existed before the pandemic.

Applying for the Covid-19 vaccine

According to our country’s vaccination plan, medical staff will continue to be vaccinated in February and long-term social care workers and clients, as well as some seniors will start receiving their vaccines. In order to effectively plan the workload and capacity of vaccination centres, it is possible to apply for the Covid-19 vaccine early.

There are four ways for inhabitants of Latvia to register for the vaccine:

  • on the website www.manavakcina.lv
  • by calling the toll-free number 8989
  • employers will be able to submit lists of their employees (people are still invited to apply individually without waiting for their employer to make an application)
  • with the help of a GP

One of the ways for inhabitants of Latvia to apply for the vaccine against Covid-19 is using by the website www.manavakcina.lv :

  • Persons in priority groups will receive the vaccine first
  • The rest of the applications received within one calendar month will be processed equally, and on a random basis
  • The website www.manavakcina.lv are also available in Russian

Toll Free Number 8989

  • Only to register for the vaccine
  • When making a call, citizens must identify themselves with their personal identification number and name/surname and provide their telephone number and/or e-mail address
  • You can also provide a second phone number - belonging to another person close to you - to feel confident that you will actually be reached when it is time to get vaccinated

Frequently asked questions about the vaccination process are available on the SPKC website.


How does the vaccine work?

Vaccines contain substances, or agents, that stimulate the body’s immunity. There are different types of vaccines. Some vaccines contain weakened or killed versions of certain viruses, bacteria, or their parts. Other vaccines contain a messenger (meaning that it merely holds information about the virus and is not the virus itself, so it cannot cause the disease or make it worse if you already have it). When a person is given the vaccine, the body’s immune system makes antibodies. When a person is exposed to a real infectious virus or bacterium, their immune system remembers it. It activates specific antibodies that have already been made, kills the virus or bacteria, and does not make you sick.

Learn more! (information in Latvian)

When will vaccination against Covid-19 start in Latvia?

Latvian people can choose to return to normal life without security measures. Vaccination provides this opportunity. 

On 28 December 2020, the vaccination of healthcare workers was started in the 10 largest hospitals of the country.

Vaccination against Covid-19 will be voluntary, including for healthcare professionals. Taking into account the gradual entry of vaccines into the market, the most vulnerable groups within Latvian society will be vaccinated first.

The aim is to ensure the ongoing operation of the health care system, as well as to reduce the burden of mortality and morbidity on the health care system.

Considering the EC recommendations for the identification of priority groups of persons to be vaccinated and the recommendations of the World Health Organization, the Ministry of Health, when determining the priority groups of the population to be vaccinated, has been guided by medical and epidemiological indications:

  • persons who are at the highest risk of infection and who are associated with permanent residence in institutions with the highest risk of Covid-19 transmission (for example, medical practitioners, employees of long-term social care centres and clients, etc.)
  • persons for whom the Covid-19 infection is associated with severe health problems (for example, seniors, persons with chronic diseases, persons undergoing serious medical manipulations)
  • persons living in conditions of increased infection, where it is not possible to observe distancing, and who come into contact with a large number of other people, thus facilitating the transmission of the infection to the wider society (for example, educators of educational institutions)

The first vaccines will be given to healthcare workers working with Covid-19 patients in hospitals and to the Emergency Medical Service. Afterwards, vaccines will be provided to the following groups in this order:

  • Healthcare workers (ones who work with Covid-19 patients; medical practitioners in hospitals, educational institutions, and providing outpatient services; GPs; pharmacists; etc.), patients with serious medical conditions or awaiting urgent operations (e.g. oncology patients, patients waiting for surgery, hospitalised long-term, etc.)
  • Social care centres (and similar), public officials critical for the continuity and security of State affairs
  • Seniors over 70, patients with certain chronic diseases and their household members, persons caring for the seriously ill at home
  • Employees of educational institutions, employees of operative services, employees of the NAF, prisons, and the State Probation Service, employees critical for the energy supply chain
  • Persons in special institutions (imprisonment, shelters)
  • Employees critical for different sectors, staff of religious organisations
  • Employees interacting with large numbers of people, employees who work in large teams and have to work together, employees of the most important companies economically
  • All other inhabitants

Learn more! (information in Latvian)

The schedule of vaccination depends on when the registration process of vaccines will be completed and when the vaccines purchased in Latvia will be delivered.

 
How is a vaccine developed and registered?

In order to be used in the European Union, a vaccine must meet the same standards of proof of safety, quality, and effectiveness as any other medicine. No exceptions from these essential requirements are made.

Currently, the first three Covid-19 vaccines have been registered in the European Union: The Comirnaty vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, a vaccine manufactured by Moderna, and a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. However, around 200 other vaccines are still being developed around the world.

Vaccine quality, safety, and effectiveness is evaluated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). If the vaccine meets all the requirements of the EMA, the agency recommends it to be registered and the European Commission issues a marketing authorisation that is valid in all EU and EEA countries. Consequently, the vaccine can be delivered to all EU countries at once, including Latvia. This process guarantees that all European Union countries, including Latvia, receive high-quality, safe, and effective vaccines against Covid-19 at the same time.

The process of developing and registering these vaccines is faster than for other vaccines, due to the investment and pooling of unprecedented scientific, financial, and human resources, as well as a radical change in the efficiency of cooperation between vaccine registration authorities and vaccine developers.

Learn more! (information in Latvian)

Information prepared by the European Commission “Safe Covid-19 vaccines for Europeans”

Source reference

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