Supermarket chains Coop, Selver, Maxima, Rimi, Prisma and Circle K have written to the government to request the organization of vaccinations for Estonia's 20,000 grocery store sellers. They want to know how and when frontline retail workers will be vaccinated.
The companies said Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs Maris Jesse told trade unions in February that front-line employees, such as shop sellers, are included in the priority vaccination plan.
"This message was a relief for more than nearly 20,000 people who work in large and small grocery stores in Estonia and come into contact with hundreds and thousands of people every day," the statement said, adding it had been hoped this process would start in April.
The stores started to make preparations: employees interested in vaccination were mapped and lists were compiled according to the instructions of the ministry. But, it is now mid-April, and vaccinations have not yet started.
"To date, no additional information has been shared with us about either the vaccination plan or the vaccination order," the companies wrote. "Unfortunately, we don't even know where and to whom we should send the lists of employees who want to be vaccinated. It's also embarrassing not to know anything."
The appeal continued: "Understandably, due to the volatility of vaccine supplies, it's difficult to answer the question when. But if vaccination follows a very specific plan, it must be relatively easy to answer the question - where are they in the queue?"
Editor: Helen Wright