Vaccinations could start for 50, 60 year olds next week if doses arrive

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Vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Source: Margus Muld/ERR

People in their 50s and 60s could start to be vaccinated next week if the promised number of vaccine doses arrive on time, vaccination manager Marek Seer said on Tuesday. In total, 127,000 doses from four manufacturers are expected to arrive this week.

Speaking on radio show "Uudis+", Seer said the doses will not be sitting in the warehouses for long as they have already been ordered by family doctors.

"Hopefully next week we will be able to open vaccination for 50 and 60 year olds. We are tied to the vaccine supplies arriving in the country," Seer said. "The opening of each subsequent age group depends on the arrival of vaccine doses."

According to the current rules, 70 percent of an age group must be vaccinated before the age group below can start vaccination. The situation now is that the majority of counties in Estonia have a vaccination rate of 60 percent or more for the over 70s but Ida-Viru County is dragging behind on less than 30 percent.

Seer said the rest of the country will not wait until Ida-Viru County has caught up. He hoped older people will come around to the idea once younger people around them have been vaccinated and they can see that it is safe.

Seer also encouraged people over the age of 65 to contact their family doctor if they want to be vaccinated but have not yet received a first dose. Family members or social workers can also help older people sign up.

"Vaccination of the elderly cannot be missed today due to a lack of vaccines," Seer said.

Coronavirus vaccination coverage by age group and county. Source: Health Board.

More data can be viewed on the Health Board's website.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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