While Lithuania has yet to finish vaccinating its senior residents, leftover AstraZeneca shots will be used to immunise workers of large companies.
Explaining the decision Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė said that “there's no point in accumulating the [AstraZeneca] vaccine”.
Meanwhile, people aged over 65 still remain a priority group for vaccination.
“These are two separate processes and we need to understand that very well. Lithuania will receive around 120,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over the coming two weeks, and if people over 65 are vaccinated with these vaccines, then we have 70 percent of these people who have had at least one dose,” Šimonytė told reporters on Thursday.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca vaccines “tend to accumulate” as some people refuse to take them, she added.
“I believe there's no point in accumulating that vaccine and wait for mass vaccination when we have companies with big groups of workers where it can be used,” the prime minister said.
Earlier in the day, the Health Ministry said that companies with more than 100 employees were invited to vaccinate their workers. The ministry later specified that only vaccines left after vaccinating priority groups would be used for the purpose.
Lithuanian has so far received 717,245 vaccine doses and has used 596,505 of them.