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2021.04.07 14:25

Lithuanian police set up 'roadblock’ around government to protest vaccination plan

LRT.lt2021.04.07 14:25

Lithuanian police officers are protesting in front of the governmental building in Vilnius to demand inclusion into the Covid-19 vaccination priority list.

“Only promises that, maybe, police officers will receive the jab later this week are not enough,” Roma Katinienė, head of the Lithuanian Police Trade Union (LPPS), told LRT.lt.

Over a dozen officers set up a mock roadblock complete with police tape and control signs in Vilnius’ Kudirka Square on Wednesday.

According to Katinienė, police officers are now being vaccinated only when there are leftover vaccines. She said protests would continue unless their demands were addressed.

Read more: Lithuania’s vaccination strategy: balancing between chaos and efficiency

“We will ask officers who were not vaccinated to display a card, saying ‘I am not vaccinated, be careful’, so that we can warn the public,” she said.

Last week, Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė turned to the Health Ministry, asking to include some 7,900 frontline police officers into the vaccination priority list.

According to the country’s current vaccination plan, officers that are part of the Interior Ministry, which includes the police, are the last group to receive Covid-19 shots before mass vaccination is rolled out.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Arūnas Dulkys said that large organisations, including the police force, would start receiving the jab later this week. However, he did not provide more details.

Read more: Lithuania has 60,000 unused AstraZeneca shots, says minister