Epidemiologist predicts all of Latvia will have either vaccinated or recovered from covid in coming months

In the coming months all residents in Latvia will have either vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-18, said epidemiologist Ņikita Trojanskis in an interview to TV3 programme 900 seconds.
He explains that the choice to not vaccinate essentially means going through the infection and all the consequences. Vaccination means acquisition of crowd immunity to ensure only seasonal virus outbreaks and restrictions are considered in the future.
If society complies with new Covid-19 restrictions, about 600 Covid-19 patients may remain at hospitals by the end of the week. Ignoring restrictions would mean increasing this number to 900, said Trojanskis.
One the one hand it is clear that if Latvia has higher vaccination coverage, mortality would not be so high and there would not be so many hospitalised patients.
He adds that, considering the low enthusiasm Latvian residents demonstrate in regards to vaccination, it can be concluded residents in this country do not have a clear habit of vaccinating. He admits that vaccination coverage among seniors has increased in recent weeks. Nevertheless, there is room to improve.
Looking at the effectiveness of restrictions, Trojanskis believes restrictions should have come sooner. «I won’t say who is responsible for it, but I would say everyone – politicians, experts and society. Politicians definitely should have explained sooner that restrictions would be needed. We need to combine vaccination with other measures,» says the expert.
He also adds that some countries renew tight restrictions and lockdowns, but even when the infection spreads there, mortality tends to remain six times below those in Latvia, which can be explained with wider vaccination coverage in those countries.
To avoid another lockdown in Latvia, it is important to follow restrictions put in place 15 November. «Estimates show that under restrictions Latvia can expect a period of stagnation – stable infection levels, but, with increased vaccination coverage, the number of hospitalised patients will slowly reduce,» explains the epidemiologist.
«Still, there are no reasons to be overly positive, because our estimates suggest about 600 patients still hospitalised by next year. This also means more deaths,» the expert adds.
Trojanskis stresses – if people do not follow restrictions, there will be about 900 people hospitalized with Covid-19 by New Year’s.
Read also: Latest Covid-19 cases in Baltics. 422 in Latvia, 947 in Lithuania, 511 in Estonia
In regards to the lockdown and the effect it has on the spread of the infection, Trojanskis said the effectiveness went up after children were transferred to distance teaching. «The 10-19 years age group, which accounts for the group with one of the highest infection rates, was affected by the lockdown the most. I’m sad the number of infections among residents 80 and older was not affected by the lockdown that much,» the expert concluded.
When asked about expanding the range of recipients of booster shots, Trojanskis said it is necessary to wait for research results that would prove infection risks for residents 50 years and older go down after booster shots. «Currently the choice of age groups singled out for booster shots are justified and based on available research. I believe the policy will change along with new data.»