Major vaccination campaign kicks off in northeast Estonia

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Coronavirus vaccination. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

A major immunization drive is taking place in cities in the northeast, with people 70 and over expected to come in for a vaccination shot in Narva, Narva-Jõesuu and Sillamäe. The campaign was off to a successful start in Narva on Saturday when over 200 people showed up to receive the Moderna coronavirus vaccine.

Of the 800 doses that arrived in Narva Hospital, half have been booked and interest is growing. While last week saw around 70 elderly people show up for the AstraZeneca vaccine, the number of prospective vaccinees is many times that now.

"Our phone lines were overwhelmed and we had to open two additional lines to register people. People even called doctors' offices. We registered everyone who called. I'm optimistic that we will administer all 800 doses by April 1," said infection control nurse Antastassia Gorškova.

Even Russian citizens who wanted the Sputnik V vaccine but decided in favor of Moderna because of the difficulty of crossing the border have registered for vaccination.

Everything was normal. There are no problems. I didn't even feel it. A mosquito bite is more painful than the shot. Once the effect of Moderna wears off, I can get vaccinated with Sputnik, it is no problem," Narva resident Leonid said.

Ida-Viru County has vaccinated 7.5 percent of its population for the lowest immunization rate among Estonian counties. Narva Mayor Katri Raik, who was vaccinated using AstraZeneca's vaccine as the local government head, hopes attitudes can always be changed through example and persuasion.

"Considering the general mentality in Narva, if your grandmothers goes in to get the shot and if the neighbor goes, the children will follow. I believe in this kind of people's radio and spreading the word," Raik said.

The Narva Hospital will administer as many doses of the Moderna vaccine possible on Saturday and Sunday and as many as it has left next week.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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