Lithuania should stick to the European Commission’s suggestion to begin vaccination from the coronavirus on December 27, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda says.
The office of the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen notified that the vaccines should be delivered to Lithuania and other EU member states by December 26, according to Nausėda.
The Lithuanian presidential office said in a statement that “vaccination should start in Lithuania the very next day”.
“The European Commission president said the first vaccines would be delivered to EU states by December 26. Lithuania will proportionally get 0.6 percent of the first batch, that is, several thousand doses. […] As soon as the vaccines are received, Lithuania will start vaccinating its citizens,” Nausėda said.
The European Medicines Agency is expected to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on December 21. In Lithuania, medical workers will be the first in line to get the shots, as well as people in risk groups, including seniors.
Nausėda also said he and Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė discussed on Thursday “the need to step up preparations for vaccination and ensure an efficient vaccination process”.
Health Minister Arūnas Dulkys says Lithuania now plans to buy 7.2 million vaccine shots, adding that 65 million euros have been allocated for that purpose in next year’s government budget. The first batch of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should be enough to immunise around 5,000 people.
Lithuania is currently one of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus in Europe and the world.