Coronavirus vaccinations should soon reach a point where family physicians have covered most of the 70+ age group and main risk groups. The plan is to have all Estonians vaccinated at least once by the end of June, said Minister of Health and Labour Tanel Kiik (Center).
"In the coming weeks, we will reach a point where family physicians can vaccinate the 70+ groups and people with certain diagnoses in their 30s, 40s, 50s. The goal is for each Estonian to be vaccinated with at least one vaccine injection in the second quarter so that 70 percent of the adult population would be vaccinated by the end of June so we would be in a significantly better situation for the third wave than we were now," Kiik said.
"Shipment schedules allow for it. Estonians' interest to get vaccinated is among the highest in Europe, let's hope that it will remain that way once vaccines arrive," the health minister added.
Approximately a million doses of coronavirus vaccine are expected to arrive in Estonia during the second quarter of the year.
Healthcare workers, care home workers and care home residents make up 18 percent of all vaccinations done in Estonia. The share of frontline workers is also 18 percent. 5.5 percent of all vaccinations are people who are not frontline workers or part of any risk groups and who have received the vaccine after a healthcare establishment or family physician has decided so or they have received a leftover dose, Kiik said.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said the nationwide vaccination plan will be modified this week.
"Throughout the vaccination organization, it has been clear that we do not have enough vaccines, we receive less of them than planned and must therefore constantly update the vaccination plan. We are in a larger deficit than we initially forecast. We have decided that we will focus vaccination on elderly people and risk groups with a goal to bring the hospital network out from under their burden," the prime minister noted.
Kallas added that the government will discuss the vaccination plan on Tuesday and any changes should be confirmed by Thursday.
Restrictions will be eased symmetrically
The current restrictions in force and the possibilities of easing them will also be discussed during Tuesday's government sitting.
Kallas said that restrictions will be eased step-by-step, as they were established. The government will look at the restrictions on Tuesday and according to the prime minister, the current infection rates are still too high and restriction cannot be eased based on those numbers. At the same time, estimates show that in a few weeks, infection indicators should fall to a level where easing restrictions can be organized.
"Everything will not be opened suddenly, rather according to how they were established. We will not open schools in full capacity but rather in the capacity they were at before closures. For museums, we can ease restrictions, but will not open them completely. The mitigation plan is connected to steps and should be connected to the 'white paper' table, so everyone would know how to act," Kallas added.
The prime minister noted that the government has indicators, based on which restrictions will be eased but she did not wish to specify any indicators before the process happens.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste