Vaccine distribution plan finally reaches less infected counties

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Coronavirus vaccine in progress. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

While coronavirus vaccines have been administered since January, some counties were left without vaccines since the local infection rates remained relatively low. Starting this week, counties such as Põlva, Valga and Lääne-Viru can finally begin vaccinations.

As of recommendations made by the state immunoprophylaxis expert work group, the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines will be administered to people aged 70 and up, with those aged under receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

According to regional daily Lõuna-Eesti Postimees (link in Estonian), as vaccine shipments have begun increasing in capacity recently, family physicians in Hiiu, Saare, Lääne, Lääne-Viru, Põlva and Valga counties can finally begin vaccinating people for COVID-19.

In addition, the state vaccination plan has reached a point where concurrent vaccinations are happening among people in risk groups, healthcare workers, education workers, rescue and police workers and local municipality workers.

As of Sunday, 23.2 percent of people aged 80 and up are vaccinated with at least one dose. The rates are inherently higher for counties in which family physicians have also been able to conduct risk group vaccinations with Rapla (34.6 percent), Pärnu (34.1 percent) and Jõgeva (33.2 percent) the three counties with the highest rate of vaccinated people aged 80 and up.

Lääne-Viru pharmacist: Elderly vaccines reaching the county as planned

Laili Konist, a family physician in Kadrina, Lääne-Viru County, told regional newspaper Virumaa Teataja (link in Estonian) that physician centers in Lääne-Viru have begun receiving shipments of the Pifzer vaccine as was established in the state vaccination plan.

"They were supposed to arrive in the end of February, the start of March, but there is nothing catastrophic nor is there any conspiracy," Konist said.

The Kadrina physician center will begin vaccinating the elderly on March 6: "We chose Saturday in particular so family members can assist the elderly with coming to vaccinations. We were just calling people to agree on times, there is nothing bad, vaccines are reaching us as planned."

Konist noted that most infections in their registry have happened within families. "I look at the behavior of infected people in my list: they have mostly gotten the infection within family or while communicating with close ones, visiting each other, even as symptoms have arisen," the physician said.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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