2021.03.03 16:30

Lithuania ‘to lend’ 1,860 vaccine doses to Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia

BNS2021.03.03 16:30

Lithuania will lend 1,860 Covid-19 vaccine shots to Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia at the European Commission's request, the government decided on Wednesday. 

"We have the European Commission's request to show solidarity and temporarily lend vaccines to Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in light of the current extremely bad epidemiological situation and high mortality in these countries," Health Minister Arūnas Dulkys told the Cabinet.

Each of the countries is asking for a total of 100,000 additional vaccine jabs from EU member states, he said, adding that "Lithuania would have to contribute less than 2,000 doses".

However, the vaccines will not be physically shipped from Lithuania to the three countries.

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Under the lending agreement, 1,860 vaccine doses ordered by Lithuania under the joint EU procurement will be distributed to the three countries instead.

This means Lithuania itself will receive the jabs several weeks later than originally planned, according to Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė.

"We'll push back certain delivery dates to help some countries, but the amounts will remain the same," she said.