While the plan was to vaccinate 26,000 people this week, that target will probably be missed and the Ministry of Social Affairs is not happy with the slow pace of immunization, Deputy Secretary General Maris Jesse said on the "Uudis+" program.
"I will admit that I am not happy with organizers of immunization in terms of the pace of vaccination this week. We expected 1,500-2,000 more daily doses administered than we have seen throughout the week," Jesse said.
She said that there are several reasons all of which are being addressed. For example, the ministry has contacted medical institutions in charge of vaccination to ask them about plans for surplus vaccines.
One problem is people who have registered for vaccination but failed to show up. Had vaccination followed lists to the letter, Estonia could already be immunizing other social groups, Jesse suggested.
The plan was to vaccinate 26,000 people this week, while it will likely not be achieved, the deputy secretary general admitted.
"It will be very close. Had we vaccinated 18,000 people by this morning (Friday – ed.), we would be on track, while the truth is that just under 15,000 people had been vaccinated this morning. Therefore, I dare not hope for 26,000 by the end of the week. We are prepared for the vaccination pace to miss the target," Jesse said.
She added that the national immunization plan will be updated in the coming weeks, while recent vaccination of people belonging to risk groups and front-line workers has taken place according to the plan approved by the previous government.
Jesse also parried criticism according to which work on a vaccination plan started too late in Estonia.
"Immunization planning started in summer and the first stage was to map out risk groups in terms of how many doses of which vaccines to seek from manufacturers. We did not know which vaccines would be available back then. Practical preparations can only take place once we know which vaccines are nearing the finish line. That was handled starting in fall," Jesse said.
Editor: Marcus Turovski