127,000 vaccine doses to arrive in Estonia this week

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Coronavirus vaccinations taking place at Sõle Sports Center on April 3, 2021. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Last week, the Health Board (Terviseamet) took into account that only 5 percent of the planned AstraZeneca vaccine doses would arrive in Estonia, meaning according to the information at the time, 67,200 doses were arriving. However, this figure has been revised substantially upwards, and 127,290 doses from all four vaccine suppliers currently used are due to arrive.

While initially, 28,000 of Pfizer/BioNTech shots were supposed to arrive this week, in actuality, 43,290 doses are arriving on Monday alone, the Ministry of Social Affairs, confirmed.

More doses than planned will also arrive in May and June, and the number of weekly doses is set to stay between 40,000 and 57,000.

Last week, the Health Board thought that 6,000 Moderna vaccine doses will arrive, but now that figure has increased to 10,800.

2,400 doses of AstraZeneca will arrive on Tuesday, and 64,800 on Thursday.

6,000 doses of the Janssen vaccine will arrive on Wednesday.

More than half will go toward second doses

Minister of Health and Labour Tanel Kiik (Center) said 40,000 to 50,000 of the total 67,200 AstraZeneca doses will go to providing already vaccinated people with their second dose.

Kiik said it is important to keep a reserve of AstraZeneca vaccines as shipment schedules are not confirmed yet.

Marek Seer, chief of the work group tasked with overseeing the coronavirus vaccination process in Estonia, said that 76,000 doses set to arrive this week will go for second injections.

The usage of the AstraZeneca vaccines will possibly be affected by Tuesday's immunprophylaxis committee meeting, during which the committee will discuss new European Medicines Agency data about the vaccine. It is possible that the committee will adjust the age limit, currently set at 60+ in Estonia.

Seer noted that before deciding to open vaccination booking slots in the digital registry, the state will await any recommendations from the committee.

Tanel Kiik said the number of vaccinations this week will become clear by Wednesday as most of the record volume of vaccines will arrive in the second half of the week. The coming weeks will see hospitals and private sector healthcare firms play a large role to conduct larger vaccination drives.

How and where vaccination drives will take place is still to be decided in the vaccination process work group. "The increase in volumes requires the circle of healthcare establishments to be rather large," Kiik said, adding that vaccinations have already been carried out by more than 500 establishments in Estonia already.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Kristjan Kallaste

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