EHIF plans to start home vaccinations this week

Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa) office.
Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa) office. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Home vaccinations for people with reduced mobility are planned to start this week in Tartu and Tallinn, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa) has said.

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Maivi Parv, member of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund's (EHIF) board, said 2,400 doses of the single-dose Janssen vaccine are due to arrive in Estonia this week and health care workers are already being trained to administer it.

Parv said the EHIF has already mapped the need for the vaccine in Tartu and Tallinn and it will be carried out by the home nursing service. Hopefully, it will start at the end of the week although some details need to be smoothed out.

Preliminary data shows there are more than 15,000 people who could be vaccinated at home and mapping with home nursing service and local governments is ongoing.

Pfizer and Moderna doses will be sent to low coverage areas

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be used in Ida-Viru, Valga and Harju counties this week to raise the coverage in areas where the vaccination rollout is lagging.

"Our goal is to achieve 70 percent coverage of people over the age of 70 across Estonia," she said.

People cannot choose the vaccine they are given but family doctors may choose not to order AstraZeneca.

"Today, a person cannot choose a vaccine themselves, but if a family doctor can offer a person Moderna or Pfizer, depending on the offers received from the health insurance fund, then why not? It is important for us that people get vaccinated," she said.

More vaccines will also be offered to areas with a low vaccination rate. Parv added the vaccination plan is currently under review and may change in the coming weeks.

Over 43,000 doses to arrive this week

This week 27,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech, 4,800 of AstraZeneca, 9,600 of Moderna and 2,400 Janssen doses will arrive in Estonia, the EHIF said. The Pfizer doses have already arrived.

Parv said the doses are all allocated and the EHIF tries to ensure two-thirds of family doctors get vaccines each week.

She said vaccination of frontline workers could restart at the end of April of the beginning of May.

"My forecast is based on known vaccine deliveries. We know that a large supply of AstraZeneca will arrive in the last week of April, but whether and how much of it will be delivered is uncertain," she said. AstraZeneca has canceled or reduced the size of its deliveries multiple times.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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