The Ministry of Social Affairs does not yet know when the first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Estonia. The vaccine was approved by the European Medicines Agency on Tuesday.
Media Relations Adviser at the Ministry of Social Affairs Eva Lehtla told ERR on Tuesday afternoon the exact delivery schedule is not yet known as the vaccine had not yet been granted a marketing authorization.
She said Estonia has been allocated 234,000 doses of vaccine, enough for 117,000 people, by the European Union's joint procurement agreement. The European Union jointly procured two billion doses of the vaccine.
Expert: Moderna vaccine is similar to Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
Chief medical officer at the State Agency of Medicines (Ravimiamet) Alar Irs told ERR the Moderna vaccine is very similar to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
"The storage conditions for the Moderna vaccine are a bit milder, it doesn't need [to be stored at] such a low temperature. While the Pfizer vials are five-dose, the Modern is ten-dose," he said. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at -70 degrees (c).
Both vaccines need two does for immunity to be reached, the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is given 21 days after and the second Moderna vaccine should be administered 28 days after the first.
Irs said both vaccines have temporary side-effects such as feeling low for several days after receiving the injection. Studies have shown no serious side-effects have occurred.
Irs said that at the moment it is not possible to choose which vaccine a person receives.
Editor: Helen Wright