Estonia to vaccinate third of pensioners against flu in 2021

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Patient receiving a vaccine (photo is illustrative). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The government will vaccinate a third of pensioners - approximately 80,000 people - against the flu this autumn, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF) has said. However, the availability of vaccines may be a problem.

Head of medicines at the EHIF Erik Laidvee said 80 percent of the residents of welfare institutions and 30 percent of the remaining people aged 65 and older will be vaccinated this year.

Currently, 250,000 doses of the vaccine have been ordered but it is difficult to say how many will actually be delivered as demand has increased worldwide. Additionally, with manufacturers concentrating on producing coronavirus vaccines, fewer influenza vaccines may be produced, ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Wednesday.

"It may also happen that Estonia, as a small country, does not receive this order. A large country may come from somewhere and simply buy this vaccine," said Rapgo family doctor Argo Lätt.

Tanel Kuusmann, CEO of Tamro Estonia, believes doses of the flu vaccine will arrive in Estonia this year. "As can be seen with Covid vaccines, it is always a question of the exact delivery time, but availability during the season should be guaranteed," he said.

This season, flu has been diagnosed five times in Estonia and two people needed hospital treatment.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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