Around half of Tallinn's teachers have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the capital's coronavirus prevention coordinator Ester Öpik told ETV's "Terevisioon" on Monday.
"Vaccinating teachers has lasted over two weeks, and almost all teachers that wished to get inoculated, have received their first dose," Öpik said.
A full course of COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of supplier, requires two doses.
Öpik said that around half of the teachers wanted to be vaccinated, in the early stages of the vaccine's arrival. "This is very similar with other groups," she said.
"Let's start with the medical personnel, where there also 50 percent of the personnel wanted to get vaccinated. However, I'm glad that there are more people who want to be vaccinated now," Öpik said. "I understand we are in a doubtful position, but we are encouraged by our colleagues making smart decisions, and when we can see it working, then others will come along as well."
Öpik said that teachers have been administered the AstraZeneca vaccination, which means that they will get their second dose in eight weeks' time.
"It is great progress considering that we want the schools to continue with their work as much it is possible today and the teachers to stay safe," she emphasized.
Commenting on Tallinn's mayor Mihhail Kõlvart's (Center) recommendation to make mask requirement mandatory, Öpik said that she would prefer going down the route persuading people, but if necessary, there should be a chance to penalize those who ignore the rules.
"Certainly at the beginning, if it's possible, punishing and obligating shouldn't be the first approach. But there should be an option that when there are people who don't care about their own or other peoples' health, then we will remind them of that in another way," Öpik said.
Editor: Roberta Vaino