Estonia to submit proposal for fairer distribution of vaccines to EU

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Coronavirus vaccines at East-Tallinn Central Hospital. Source: Raigo Pajula/ITK

Estonia has proposed to change the distribution plan for coronavirus vaccines obtained through the European Union's joint procurement scheme, and after finding support from others, will present a proposal to the European Commission.

Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said countries where coronavirus is spreading faster or where vaccination can be carried out efficiently should receive their pre-ordered vaccines faster than other countries.

Currently, Estonia meets both these criteria, so if the proposal is adopted more vaccines will reach Estonia faster.

Estonia made this proposal to the EU steering group and it was supported by other members. To make the proposal broader and more robust, these countries added their signatures to the joint statement which is now being prepared for presentation to the European Commission.

"We want the distribution of vaccines to be based on countries' real vaccination capacity and infection situation. We should help those countries that need more support," Kiik told ERR.

As of Monday evening, Estonia has a 14-day infection rate of 1335.54 per 100,000 inhabitants which is the second highest in Europe. Only the Czech Republic has a higher infection rate at 1572 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the World Health Organization.

Estonia has also vaccinated more than 102,000 people which puts the country in the top 10 highest in European for vaccine coverage. On Friday, only Malta, Austria, Denmark, Hungary, Finland and Lithuania had a higher vaccination rate (link in Estonian). Estonia's rate is now over 7 percent.

Last week, it was reported that Kiik asked Germany and the European commissioner for health to speed up supplies of coronavirus vaccines to Estonia.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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