The coronavirus vaccination workgroup agreed on Friday to lower the age limit to allow workplace vaccinations to start in Ida-Viru County. From May 10, anyone over the age of 16 can be vaccinated in the county.
The Ministry of Social Affairs said the decision was made due to the level of infection in Ida-Viru County, which is one of the highest in Estonia but the vaccination uptake rate is the lowest.
Vaccine manager Marek Seer said: "We have offered on-site vaccination on a pilot basis to larger employers in Harju County and Ida-Viru County, and practice has shown that despite the great interest of companies, it is difficult to get enough employees in large companies at the same time to make it worthwhile."
He said it is now important to increase the proportion of vaccinated people in Ida-Viru County and it was decided to lower the age limit earlier than planned to encourage all ages to get vaccinated.
Seer said the pace and order of vaccines depend on the delivery of vaccines and the logistics of the service provider. "Therefore, it may take some time until we reach all the employers who have expressed a wish to get vaccinated. We ask for patience and understanding," he added.
In Ida-Viru County, less than 22 percent of the adult population has been vaccinated with at least one dose, while the Estonian average is 33 percent.
The 14-day infection rate in Ida-Viru County is higher than the Estonian average at 544 per 100,000 people compared to the Estonian average of 357.
Vaccination for the under 50s is likely to open on May 17 across the country, dependent on vaccine deliveries.
Workplace vaccination in Ida-Viru County
The conditions for a vaccination with an employer, regardless of age, are as follows:
- The company must be located in Ida-Viru County, although an exception can be made if the company is not located in Ida-Viru County but most of the employees live there.
- The majority of workers cannot work remotely.
- There are more than 20 people who want to be vaccinated.
- Vaccination of workers' adult family members is also allowed and workers are especially encouraged to bring older family members with them.
Workplace vaccination in Harju County
Vaccination at the workplace will continue in Harju County but only for people over 50 years old.
Employers who want to participate need at least 50 workers who are willing to be vaccinated and are unable to work remotely.
AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines are available for workplace vaccinations in Harju County.
Editor: Helen Wright