President Kaljulaid gets vaccinated

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President Kersti Kaljulaid receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. Source: ERR / Tauno Peit

Ahead of her visit to Afghanistan in April, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid was vaccinated for the coronavirus at the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) on Friday morning.

The president received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

"I received my coronavirus vaccine today (Friday - ed) at the North Estonia Medical Center. By now, there have been 130,000 vaccine doses administered in Estonia and soon the queue will reach everyone. I am calling everyone - if you are offered the option, get vaccinated," Kaljulaid posted on social media.

The president wrote that vaccinations are key in defeating the virus and allowing a return to normalcy. "By getting vaccinated, we not only protect ourselves, but also those who cannot get vaccinated - our children for example. We will help our companies stay afloat with vaccines, help maintain our families' incomes. It can be everyone's contribution," Kaljulaid posted.

"I was vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, but that is not important - all vaccines that have been allowed on our market are safe possible side effects are nothing compared to the health issues that infection can cause. I feel good and wish to thank the medicine staff who conducted the vaccination," Kaljulaid wrote.

The president's visit to Afghanistan

President Kersti Kaljulaid is planning to visit Afghanistan in April and needs herself and the delegation to be vaccinated in advance, ERR News wrote on Tuesday.

"Considering the importance of the visit, we ask you to find an exceptional opportunity to vaccinate the president and the delegation accompanying her (4-5 people) so that the vaccination is done by the end of March," the president's office director Tiit Riisalo wrote to the Health Board's deputy-chancellor Maris Jesse on Tuesdau.

Riisalo explained in the letter that according to the covid rules of the command of the NATO mission on the ground, it is practically feasible to organize a visit to Kabul only with a delegation whose members have received covid vaccination at least 14 days before the start of the visit.

"As of now, the visit is planned for the first half of April," Riisalo added.

During the president's visit, it is planned to discuss the situation in the area and the Estonian Defense Forces in Afganistan.

Estonia currently has a four-member demining team, an infantry group with a support element, military police, health center medics and a staff officer within the NATO-led training and counseling mission Resolute Support in Afghanistan.

Estonia also holds the United Nations Security Council's portfolio for Afghanistan jointly with Norway this year.

Editor's note: This article was updated with Kaljulaid's comments.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste, Roberta Vaino

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