Physician: No reason to go looking for COVID-19 vaccines on the internet

Patient receiving a vaccine (photo is illustrative).
Patient receiving a vaccine (photo is illustrative). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The queue for vaccinations has been drawn up to be as just as possible and people should avoid acquiring COVID-19 vaccines of unknown origin from the internet, said Marje Oona, family physician and member of the Ministry of Social Affairs' expert committee.

Family physicians have quite a large number of options, how will you invite people to vaccinations in practice and how will they be chosen?

Firstly, the people who have a greater risk of getting COVID-19 and suffering from it will be infected first. This is why health care workers will vaccinate first, so they could go ahead protecting others. Then we know, from examples from other countries as well, that care home residents are in great risk. From there, people with health risks. We know that these are people who are at least 70 and people with chronic diseases.

We will certainly be flexible. We will prioritize those with a greater risk to suffer from the virus.

Vaccinations will be voluntary. If people do not show up right away, how long will you spend on convincing them?

It would be great if we could get as many people protected as possible from the start. But of course, we will answer any questions people are worried about out. It is clear that the person will make their own decision, but we will advise them and will be ready to answer questions.

How are you prepared to deal with certain fears - vaccines are new, knowledge and practice has not had time to mature yet?

Our task is not to convince people, but to return to normal life as rapidly as possible. But trully, the vaccine that actually works is not inside of a bottle, but rather one that trains the immune system, teaches it to defend itself against this nasty virus.

When it comes to the new vaccine, people might have doubts and fears, but if we look at how thoroughly clinical trials were conducted, how large the trial samples are, the transparency of the process - study protocols have been previously published. Before we start vaccinating, many countries are already doing so - the United States, Great Britain, there are more.

There have been a few allergic reactions, a specific allergic reaction - it is not a regular allergy but an anaphylactic type allergy. If I can say anything to ensure people is that this reaction is easily treatable, you just need to remain in the vaccination location for 15 minutes, the reaction will go as fast as it came.

Is there an option of paying money to get a vaccine faster?

I have no doubts that some internet pharmacies will sell something but I do not recommend anyone buy anything from those, you will not get a vaccine. Vaccinations are conducted in the European Union to be as just as possible, so the people with greater risk receive it first. I do not see a reason to buy your own vaccine.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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