TALLINN - Estonia's new President Alar Karis has promised to discuss the recommendations of scientists and the government's plans to overcome the coronavirus crisis both with members of the scientific advisory board and Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik in the next few days.
"How can we find peace of mind when our struggle with the pandemic has turned out to be an exhausting 50-kilometre trek instead of the sprint for which we'd hoped? When there's rising sentiment that evidence-based medicine is advancing at a timid crawl in the crisis, and the decisions that affect people's everyday lives seem like arbitrary spasms? For the justification of those decisions has been ineffectual," the president said in his inaugural speech before the parliament on Monday.
"Morale fades where fear and fatigue start to spread. Most people who wish to vaccinate against COVID-19 have already done so or intend to very soon. But not everyone wants to get vaccinated, and thereby risks contracting a severe case of the virus or infecting others. And in the end, we find our country in lockdown," Karis said, adding that as someone who has practiced science he has faith in it, as well as in the science-based approach that surrounds us.
The president said that if someone who has so far refused to get vaccinated and is unsure were to ask for his advice, then he'd naturally advise them to reconsider and allow themselves and their loved ones to receive the vaccine.
"In the coming days, I will meet with the scientific advisory board that has been counselling the government, as well as with the ministers for health and labor, to get the broadest picture I can of how far we've come on our long encounter with the unknown, as well as what might be the best solutions for our future. In these meetings, I will be a constructive, and a demanding, partner," Karis said.