Mass vaccination failed in Ida-Viru County but was popular elsewhere

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Mass vacination. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Only 10 percent of the vaccine doses allocated for Ida-Viru County were given out during Easter weekend's mass vaccinations, regional newspapers have reported. Experts believe this was due to concerns around the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Regional newspaper Põhjarannik wrote (link in Estonian) wrote that in the Ida-Viru Central Hospital only 32 people were vaccinated in three days.

Director of the Hospital Infection Control Service Natalia Nikitina said that people living in the county have a low level of trust in the AstraZeneca vaccine. If the hospital could offer other manufacturer's vaccines then there would have been a higher uptake.

Chief executive of medical center Corrigo Merle Harjo said only 15 percent of the expected people came to get their dose.

Regional newspaper Virumaa Teataja wrote (link in Estonian) that the vaccination day in Ida-Viru County passed as it did everywhere else: there was a lot of confusion but only a few people were vaccinated.

The largest vaccination center in Lääne-Virumaa operated on Saturday and Sunday at the Rakvere Aqva Conference Center.

"We vaccinated 515 people and 100 doses will be returned to the health insurance fund," said Risto Laur, chairman of the Board of Confido Healthcare Group.

Although Confido project manager Lenne Rätsep said on Saturday that those interested in vaccination were mainly aged 70, the newspaper noticed there were younger people turning up to get vaccinated.

During the last weekend of March, a mass vaccination campaign took place in Ida-Viru County using the Moderna vaccine which saw more interest from residents.

Speaking on ETV's morning show "Terevisioon" on Tuesday morning, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs Maris Jesse said the government needs to talk more about the benefits of the vaccine to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Successful vaccination in Jõgeva and Järva counties

On the other hand, the newspaper Vooremaa wrote (link in Estonian) that the large-scale vaccination at Jõgeva Hospital on Saturday and Sunday was successful

"All the appointments were booked up and everyone turned up. Those who had booked had confidence in their vaccinations and when we started to explain how to proceed and what to do with side effects, it turned out that many people already knew," Vile Vend, the hospital's medical manager, said.

Mass vaccination and digital registration was used not only by the people of Jõgeva County but also by people from Viljandi, Paide, Tartu and Rakke.

There was also a lot of interest in vaccinations in Järva County, local newspaper Järva Teataja wrote (link in Estonian).

Maire Raidvere, the head of nursing at Järva County Hospital, said that there were no doses left of the 200 doses allocated for injection on Sunday.

"It took us four hours in total, in other words, we served 48 people an hour," she said.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Helen Wright

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