Social Affairs ministry official: Our vaccination plan will work

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Maris Jesse Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Despite issues with the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines slowing down the vaccination process, enough doses are arriving in Estonia in the next two months to reach everyone willing, deputy chancellor of the Ministry of Social Affairs Maris Jesse has said.

In Estonia, vaccinating under 60-year-olds with the AstraZeneca vaccine has been suspended and as of today, vaccinating bedridden patients with the Janssen vaccine has been postponed.

Speaking on ETV's current affairs show "Esimene stuudio" on Thursday evening, Jesse said Estonia is waiting for the European Medicines Agency's report before further action is taken. At the same time, the investigations of the two vaccines don't mean that the vaccination of the whole population is postponed.

"It has been recalculated with the quantities of different vaccines. On Thursday, there was great news that some Pfizer vaccine doses will be delivered in the second quarter instead of the fourth. This has added security that all Estonians who want to start the vaccination process can do it in May and June. It might not be possible to get the second injection during June, but definitely during summer," Jesse said.

Jesse said Estonia will receive enough vaccine doses to vaccinate the elderly in the coming weeks. Next in the line are younger people in risk groups. Then all people over 60, then over 50 and people under 50 will not be grouped by decade.

Jesse added that it's not clear when under 50s will start to be vaccinated. She said that it largely dependant on the studies regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine, more significantly on the Medicines Agency shifting the age limit, which is currently 60.

Regarding the Janssen vaccine, Jesse said that since it is made with the same technology as the AstraZeneca vaccine, there should be no major surprises. "We have been on this journey with AstraZeneca already," she said.

Jesse said that in a situation where Estonia receives a large amount of vaccine at once, the entire population could be vaccinated in a few weeks, because of the current daily vaccination rate, where 13,000 to 14,000 people can be vaccinated on the best days, is much higher.

"We are already in pretty good shape, the more difficult stage has already been completed with limited vaccine volumes and it will get easier," said Jesse.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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