The Lithuanian cabinet on Wednesday has approved a proposal to pay 100 euros (about $115) to those aged 75 and older to get vaccinated against the CCP virus as one-third in this age group hesitates to get the jab.
“There are over 270,000 people in Lithuania who are aged 75 years and over; they belong to a high risk group and their immunization rates are significantly lower than those of other high-risk groups,” Social Security and Labour Minister Monika Navickienė said during a cabinet meeting while presenting the proposal,
Lithuanian news agency LRT English reported.
“In this group, we have about 80,000 people who have not been vaccinated or have not had the virus,” she added.
The one-time payment for seniors getting the shots will not only be given to those who are yet to be vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, but also to those who take a COVID-19 booster shot by the end of March next year.
Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said during a televised government meeting she hopes the one-time payment will boost the inoculation rate for the group, explaining authorities are “unable to convince them to vaccinate otherwise.”
The cabinet estimates that the government will spend more than 27 million euros ($31.1 million) if every eligible senior over the age of 75 gets their full vaccination between September and November.
If the Seimas, or the parliament of Lithuania, approves the draft law next week, seniors choosing the one-time payment could expect the money in December or April 2022, LRT English reported.
Simonyte said she believes that if the payment of 100 euros “helps at least some people” to get vaccinated against the disease, the new law will be “an investment worth doing.”
According to government data, 73 percent of all Lithuanian adults are vaccinated while about one-third of those aged 75 or older remain unvaccinated.
Since the start of the CCP virus pandemic nearly two years ago, about two-thirds of the 5,116 COVID-19 deaths in the country have been in this senior age group.
Last month, several thousand protesters staged a rally on the central Cathedral Square of Vilnius in Lithuania to denounce several COVID-19 policies such as vaccination passports, the requirement to wear face masks in schools, among some other measures.
“I’m not against vaccination in principle, but it must be possible for a person to choose for himself, and not create conditions in which he simply has to be vaccinated,” Rima Junel, a 56-year-old protester, told news agency AFP.
The Baltic European country requires people to be in possession of a COVID-19 vaccination passport prior to entering many economic activities such as shopping malls, restaurants, and beauty salons.
The passport is given to those who are fully vaccinated against the CCP virus, have recently recovered from the disease, or have tested negative in the last 48 hours.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From NTD News