First AstraZeneca vaccine shipment set to arrive in Estonia next week

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First COVID-19 vaccinations in Tallinn (photo is illustrative). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

In case pharmaceutical developer AstraZeneca gets a sales permit for their coronavirus vaccine from the European Medicines Agency this week, the first shipment of the vaccine should arrive in Estonia on Sunday, February 7.

"What we know of AstraZeneca currently is that the European Medicines Agency will assess the vaccine on January 29 and in the case of a positive assessment, the European Commission will give the vaccine a European Union sales permit on either January 29 or 30," said Kärt Sõber, adviser to the public health department of the Ministry of the Social Affairs.

The developer has promised to ship the first 14,000 doses to Estonia on February 7. In total, 75,000 vaccine doses should reach Estonia during February, according to the company's shipment plan.

"That is our current knowledge, but our experience shows that information can change quickly," Sõber told ERR.

Therefore, the ministry can be sure of the dates and capacities only once the shipment is on its way to Estonia. According to the pre-purchase agreement, AstraZeneca has promised Estonia 270,000 doses during the first quarter if the company receives a sales permit.

The immunoprophylaxis work group working on vaccine distribution in Estonia will decide which risk group will be given the vaccine. The decision will be based on the company's presented studies, which should determine the effectiveness per risk group.

As of Thursday, January 28, 6,214 people have been fully vaccinated in Estonia. Another 19,201 have been injected with one dose and are awaiting a second dose after 14 days for full effectiveness.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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