Less than half of emailed vaccination invitees showed up over weekend

Doctors were the first to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in Tallinn on December 27.
Doctors were the first to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in Tallinn on December 27. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

13,000 people in the age group 60-69 were invited to get vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine in Tallinn and Tartu over the weekend, but since there are hiccups in the eesti.ee notification system, more than half of the designated time slots for vaccinations were left unused.

The Qvalitas centers in Tallinn and Tartu were potentially capable of vaccinating 2,300 people in the 60-69 risk group over the weekend, but only 600 people took the opportunity.

Anneli Mäeots, head of service at Qvalitas, said she is very sorry since the medical staff's readiness was far greater than registered.

Külli Friedemann, head of the Health Insurance Fund's first-level services, said they wanted to find out how many would come to get vaccinated when invited by e-mail. "We had the wish of hinding out how people reacted without extra motivation when we invited them by e-mail," she said.

Over the last few days, nearly 5,000 people have re-directed their eesti.ee mailbox to their personal one. Since March 1, more than 13,000 people have been sent reminders for vaccinations, of which more than 60 percent never reached the respective person's mailbox.

"If we look at the target group, there are around 380,000 60+ people in Estonia, according to Statistics Estonia data. 74,000 of them have directed their e-mail, meaning 22 percent. If 42 percent received the e-mail, it is a better result than expected," said Margus Arm, Deputy Director General of RIA, the state IT governing body.

Although Arm said the information could be distributed by SMS, e-mails allow for more information to be sent.

Külli Friedemann said alternatives are being thought up: "We will discuss what the other methods are to notify people. If there is no phone number or e-mail address, what are the other options," she said.

In addition to information not reaching many people in risk groups, the decreased reaction could also be the short notification period. Those people who cannot be notified via the eesti.ee portal will still get a call from their family physician.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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