President: Europe's vaccine distribution should take capacity into account

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European Union Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton and President Kersti Kaljulaid at Kadriorg on March 22. Source: Office of the President of the Republic/Raigo Pajula

President Kersti Kajulaid said that the distribution of Europe's vaccine stock should take the vaccination capacity and current infection rate in a country into account during a meeting with the EU's Internal Market Commissioner.

During at meeting at Kadriorg on Monday, Commissioner Thierry Breton and Kaljulaid discussed the course of vaccinations in EU Member States and the basis of the potential distribution of vaccines.

"The rate of infection is particularly high at the moment in Estonia, and although we're quick and efficient when it comes to vaccinating our population, we'd be even quicker and more efficient at it if we had more vaccines at our disposal," Kaljulaid said.

Discussion during the meeting also turned to the possibility of using anonymised long-term health data in the development of vaccines. Kaljulaid said that with the aim of accelerating its vaccination programme, Estonia is open to research cooperation with the manufacturers of new vaccines making their way onto the EU market.

The development of a single vaccination certificate was also discussed at the meeting. Kaljulaid said that Estonia has experience of digital certificates and in the form of the X-Road and is prepared to contribute to the development of a pan-European digital solution, just as the country is contributing to a similar WHO project.

The pair also spoke at some length of the development of the single digital market, the safe sharing of digital data and defence industry cooperation.

Commissioner Breton is the head of the EU's vaccine production task force. As part of his visit to Estonia he also met with Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Andres Sutt, Minister of Health and Employment Tanel Kiik and the directors of Estonian companies contributing to the development of medications and vaccines against coronavirus.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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