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Lithuania's 2021 budget earmarks EUR 65 mln for vaccines, 1st batch to arrive in a week

BC, Vilnius, 16.12.2020.Print version
The Lithuanian government has earmarked 65 million euros for vaccines in 2021 budget and another 80 million euros for other measures to combat the pandemic, Health Minister Arunas Dulkys said on Wednesday, cites LETA/BNS.

The minister confirmed that the first, albeit very small, batch of vaccines is likely to arrive in Lithuania in a week. 

"Six agreements with pharmaceutical companies to purchase over 7 million vaccine doses have been concluded. The state budget earmarks 65 million euros for the purpose and another 80 million euros for various measures, testing, logistics and other things," he told a news conference.  

The first batch will be smaller than expected, but it will arrive a week earlier than planned, Dulkys said. 

"If the European Medicines Agency makes it steps on December 21 and the European Commission takes its decisions on (December) 23, the first small batch may reach Lithuania on December 25-26," he said. 

Audrius Sceponavicius, the director of the Health Ministry's Public Health Department, confirmed earlier on Wednesday that BioNTech and Pfizer were planning to deliver 9,750 doses, an amount sufficient to administer two shots to almost 5,000 people, to Lithuania shortly. 

He added that the first groups of medical workers could be vaccinated on Christmas Eve and Day.

Lithuania wants to acquire enough vaccines to immunize 70 percent of its population. The country will likely have to buy much more doses than it needs to vaccinate the entire population, but it will be able sell or donate unused dozes to countries outside the EU.

The Cabinet approved next year's adjusted draft state budget on Wednesday and will now submit it to the parliament for approval.

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