Small number of people catch coronavirus after vaccination

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AstraZeneca vaccination. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Less than 1,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Estonia despite having received their first dose of the vaccine.

The Health Board said 723 people have caught the virus despite being vaccinated. As it takes between seven and 15 days to develop protective antibodies after vaccination this is the reason why covid-19 can be caught between doses.

In total, 229,241 first doses have been administered in Estonia, data from the Health Board shows and the agency has said all vaccines are working effectively.

"Because the virus is so prevalent now, there are definitely people who get sick after the first dose, because it cannot be expected that the level of immunity will be so high as to protect against the disease," said Maia Uusküla, head of the Health Board's safety monitoring office.

She said cases have been reported to the Agency of Medicines where a person who received the vaccine on the same day became ill the next day. In cases like this, the virus may have been contracted before vaccination.

The effectiveness of the vaccine can only be fully assessed once two doses have been given. So far, less than 0.1 percent of people have tested positive for coronavirus seven days after getting the second dose and almost 70,000 people have received both shots.

"In 25 cases the illnesses were mild, the person did not need hospital treatment, there were symptoms of mild colds. But in two cases the person needed hospital treatment and one older man died, but he also had many and serious co-morbidities," Uusküla said.

It is possible to still catch coronavirus after vaccination as no vaccine is 100 percent effective. However, all vaccines reduce the likelihood of developing a serious case of the virus and being hospitalized.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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