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Lithuanian healthcare workers start getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Date

2020 12 28

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On Sunday, vaccination of healthcare workers against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) began. Hospitals in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, and Panevėžys agreed to start the vaccination process at the same time, at 8 am. Vaccination of all the healthcare workers in the country should be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

Five vaccination centres – Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos, Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kauno Klinikos, Klaipėda University Hospital, Šiauliai Republican Hospital, and Panevėžys Republican Hospital – have distributed the received vaccine to healthcare institutions treating inpatient COVID-19 patients in their respective regions.

‘It makes sense that in Lithuania, five leading and primary hospitals have started vaccination of their healthcare workers at the same time. It shows the unity of our medical staff in this fight. It is very important that frontline healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 patients be vaccinated first. This is the greatest gift for the people of the health sector,’ said Director General of Kauno Klinikos Prof MD PhD Renaldas Jurkevičius.

The first doses of the vaccine will be given for the medical staff working in the COVID-19 wards, emergency departments, and those at high risk for COVID-19. According to Prof Feliksas Jankevičius, Director General of Santaros Klinikos, which is one of the largest COVID-19 treatment institutions, everything will start getting only better from now on.

‘Vaccines are based on science. They give hope of a return to a normal work rhythm and life. They are like a light in the face of the extreme tension of the recent months. I am convinced that the vaccine, the community spirit, the unity, and joint work of the health workers will defeat the insidious virus,’ said a nurse from the Department of Infectious Diseases of Klaipėda University Hospital, who was vaccinated on Sunday.

On the first day of vaccination, 2,270 medical staff have been vaccinated by 5 pm: 700 individuals in Vilnius, 440 in Kaunas, 160 in Klaipėda, 120 in Šiauliai, and 850 in Panevėžys. The procedure was performed at 26 vaccination points.

‘This vaccine is highly important to the medical staff, since it will start regulating the flow of people to healthcare institutions, and doctors will be able to return to normal life and treat other infectious diseases that now seem to have disappeared,’ said Aidas Kaušas, Head of the Infectious Diseases Department of Šiauliai Republican Hospital.

Lithuania has concluded agreements with six vaccine manufacturers. It is intended to buy more than 7 million vaccine doses that should be enough to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the population of the country. According to experts, this proportion of the vaccinated population should provide herd immunity against the coronavirus.

Press Office of the Ministry of Health