On Monday, March 22, the European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton arrived in Riga to meet the Minister of Economics of Latvia Jānis Vitenbergs and several pharmaceutical companies. The purpose of the visit is to discuss Latvia’s potential involvement the production of COVID-19 vaccines.
“A week ago I had an online meeting with Mr Breton where I expressed Latvia’s willingness to get involved in COVID-19 vaccine production which is a common goal of the EU. We have long-standing traditions in the pharmaceutical industry, extensive knowledge base and a suitable infrastructure. By joining forces with the biomedicine sector, our scientists, and the most significant industry players, in the future we will be ready to start producing not only COVID-19 vaccines but other vaccines too,” says the Minister of Economics of Latvia Jānis Vitenbergs.
The biggest Latvian pharmaceutical companies Grindeks JSC, Olainfarm JSC and Pharmidea have already confirmed they are prepared to start working on vaccines using biotechnology and gene therapy technology applicable to all types of vaccines. In the future, other companies might join them.
The initiative is Latvia’s answer to the letter from the European Commissioner Thierry Breton addressed to EU member states requesting information on each country’s ability to produce COVID-19 vaccines. So far Finland and Latvia have responded with a proposal.