Vaccine manager: Unused vaccines will be used as second doses

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

There are 120,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine in Estonia as of Monday morning and 70,000 will be used as second doses, government officials have said.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said it is not fair to say these doses are unused because they are all booked to be used in the coming days.

He said 65,000 doses of AstraZeneca has been delivered at the end of last week and will be used gradually.

Vaccination project manager Marek Seer said: "There are 120,000 unused doses of the vaccine. If a dose is unused, it is because it is a second dose. There is a constantly changing stock level and interpreting it in this way, arbitrarily without knowing the contents, is a very slippery slope." 

Seer said many tens of thousands of second doses are needed in the coming weeks and doses are not being kept in storage for no reason. He said this week 33,800 second doses will be administered, 16,300 are needed next week and 23,000 the week after.

48,000 vaccine doses should arrive in Estonia this week, almost 64,000 next week and almost 58,000 the following week. Some of these doses will also need to be set aside as second doses.

Seer said if there is little interest in vaccination from the over 50s, in theory, it would be possible to open vaccination to the under 50s sooner - but there is no sign of this at the moment.

"We are working on the plan which was announced last week, that May 17 is the date when we will open vaccination for the next age groups," Seer said.

Last week, 53,000 vaccinations were administered in Estonia.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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