A nationwide digital registration platform is now open for people aged 65 and up to register for vaccinations at the location and time slot of their choice, starting this weekend.
Health Insurance Fund director Rain Laane said larger vaccine shipments will begin to arrive in Estonia over the next weeks and vaccinations can be offered to a wider array of people going forward.
"The spread of COVID-19 in the country is still worrying, which is why the state's goal is to continue vaccinating at a fast pace. This is why we will use a digital registration option to offer vaccination times, because booking a time slot digitally lessens the burden of healthcare workers, who would otherwise call each person one by one," Laane said.
For the coming weekend, all people aged 65 and up can book their AstraZeneca vaccination, regardless of where they live or in which family doctor list they are registered in.
Nearly 6,000 vaccinations to be administered on weekend
A total of nearly 6,000 are on offer for Saturday and Sunday. The vaccination time slots in the digital registration portal are only available for people in the respective age group.
The Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre (TEHIK) has opened the possibility for healthcare institutions to publish their vaccination time slots and for people to book them online. People in the age group can choose a time in any of the hospitals or health centers that have joined the digital registration pilot project.
TEHIK director Katrin Reinhold said creating a digital option was a necessity as it gives people the chance to find a suitable time and location for their vaccination.
Digital registration may crash on weekends
"Since there are more than 300,000 people in the age group this weekend, we are prepared for a significant bump in digital registration visits. In case the system is overloaded due to increased visits and you cannot book right away, it is worth trying again after some time," Reinhold noted.
She added that time slots will likely fill up rather quickly, but there will be slots opened in the future as vaccines continue to arrive. The addition of many more healthcare establishments is also expected, allowing people more choices when it comes to locations and times.
First, the vaccine applicant must login to the Patient Portal and if they are in the vaccination target group, a notification will pop up stating as much. From there, the person can move on to choosing and booking a suitable time slot.
22 healthcare providers have joined the digital registration platform currently but according to the Health Insurance Fund, that number should continue to go up in the coming weeks.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste