Estonian health minister: Vaccination against COVID-19 may become an annual norm

  • 2022-05-23
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik said in an interview with public broadcaster ERR that Estonian society is likely moving towards regular coronavirus vaccines.

"Experts currently estimate that it will definitely be necessary to administer the fourth dose to at-risk groups, the elderly, people with various chronic diseases in the fall. But we will likely open up this opportunity also to the wider society," Kiik told ERR. "In the fall, we will likely start offering the fourth dose on a wider scale, which has been done to 14,000 people today."

The minister did not rule out the possibility that, like the flu, it may become the norm regarding coronavirus that at-risk groups, at least, are recommended to get vaccinated once a year. At the same time, Kiik stated that each subsequent round of vaccination is more difficult than the previous one.

"This is already shown by statistical figures not only in Estonia, but in Europe as a whole. In other words, coverage with the first dose is higher everywhere than coverage with a booster dose, and if a fourth and fifth dose are necessary, the coverage will also definitely be lower," Kiik said.

"As a matter of fact, today it is important to focus on the protection of at-risk groups, the 60+ age group, people with certain chronic diseases, who are likely to understand very well themselves that getting this extra booster dose can be a matter of life and death for them," the minister said.