Estonian vaccination chief: Not possible to send nurse with syringe behind every door

  • 2021-07-21
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - COVID-19 vaccination project leader Marek Seer said that vaccination options will be brought closer to people; however, it will not be possible to send a nurse with a syringe behind every Estonian resident's door.

Options to get immunized will become more diverse and be brought closer to people. The final step to get vaccinated must be taken by everyone individually, however, in order to safeguard their health and keep life in Estonia open, he said.

"We're racing against time and need to increase our pace -- while there's only the final push left in this marathon, we still have too many kilometers to go," Seer said.

Vaccination options are becoming more numerous and the goal is to make immunization more convenient for people. Vaccine shots are administered in eight pharmacies from this week, and the number of pharmacies providing vaccination will grow to more than 40 in altogether nine counties.

More and more family medical centers are also providing vaccination for people outside their patient register. Tens of vaccination events are carried out all over Estonia and a vaccination bus is making stop in areas with low vaccination coverage on a daily basis. Vaccination centers, too, continue their work and the shots are also administered in county hospitals and numerous private health care establishments.

People are also invited to get vaccinated via text and email and in cooperation with local governments also through direct mail. Information about vaccination is available by calling the hotline 1247 and on the website .

"The final step -- the decision to get vaccinated -- must be made by everyone individually and then the person also needs to go and get their jab," Seer said. "It will not be possible to send a nurse with a syringe behind everyone's door."

People who recovered from COVID-19 this spring or earlier should now also get immunized. Only one shot is administered to these people and the best time for doing so is four to six months after recovery.

Revaccinations are not organized yet as the effect of the vaccination course lasts for at least one year, according to studies.

The EU digital vaccination certificate enabling travel and also visits to many events in Estonia without testing is likewise valid for one year.

The vaccines offered in Estonia are Janssen, Moderna and Pfizer. The single-dose Janssen is mainly used in situations where calling people back for the second dose may prove difficult. For the double-dose mRNA vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer, the second dose is administered four weeks and six weeks after the first shot, respectively. Full protection is only achieved after completing the vaccination course.

As of Wednesday, coronavirus vaccine has been administered to 605,839 people in Estonia, and for 528,226 people the vaccination course is completed. Vaccination coverage of the adult population with at least one dose stands at 54.8 percent and at 68.4 percent among people aged 70 and older.

COVID-19 vaccination is open to people 12 years of age and older and free of charge for all residents of Estonia both with and without health insurance.