Government to discuss vaccination spring plan initiative

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Vaccination. Source: Riigikogu

Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said on Thursday that the government is to discuss an initiative, entitled Spring Plan, whose aim is to negotiate with vaccine manufacturer Johnson&Johnson's managers to speed up vaccine supply. The state would pay for the supplies with studies and data regarding vaccination.

According to news portal Delfi, a 40-minute-long conference call took place on March 31 where Tanel Kiik, Deputy Chancellor of Ministry of Social Affairs Maris Jesse, head of Johnson&Johnson's Baltic unit, Laura Saar, and several representatives of the Spring Plan took part.

"The aim of the call was to hear directly from the source which the current state of the delivery of the vaccines is, what the options for future cooperation are and whether the company has any feedback for the Spring Plan's appeal," Kiik said.

"We will discuss the question at governmental level, where and which supplementary steps the state can take to increase the possibility of such research."

So far, Johnson&Johnson hasn't delivered vaccines anywhere. The doses of the vaccines to which the European Medicines Board gave the marketing authorization on March 11 should arrive in states in the other half of April, and the first quantity should arrive in Estonia on April 19.

"Clearly we are not talking about purchasing extra doses, activities outside of the framework contract, but getting the 300,000 doses bought by Estonia faster," Kiik explained.

"They would then be used on a voluntary basis in a study that would later provide anonymous feedback on participants, for example on possible side effects, subsequent illnesses, any other relevant indicators. "

Such research would also require the authorization of the medical ethics committee and the Agency. Kiik said that the COVID-19 scientific council would definitely be involved in the process.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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