Starting next week, vaccination registration will be opened for everyone over the age of 16 and the state of vaccine shipments is set to allow for some 20,000 vaccines to be administered over the first week.
Marek Seer, head of the COVID-19 vaccination work group, told ETV's morning show "Terevisioon" that around 20,000 time slots will be opened in the digital registry, if scheduled vaccine shipments hold up. Vaccines are set to arrive in Estonia throughout the next week and time slots will be opened continuously based on shipment arrivals.
"500,000 people are waiting and we do not have this guaranteed to them initially, we do not have 500,000 doses in stock currently," Seer said.
The expected vaccine shipment to arrive in Estonia this week is around 70,000 doses and a part of the arriving doses will also go to cover second injections so time slots can only be opened step-by-step.
"We estimate that we can count on some 20,000 doses next week to cover initial injections. There will be as many time slots [in the digital registry], we will certainly not open 500,000 slots," Seer said.
Vaccination time slots will be opened continuously. "We want to work with a model that opens the running week and the week after, perhaps even the week after that. But we must be have clarity when it comes vaccine shipments in the weeks after. We will certainly be careful in the start," Seer noted.
The main focus of vaccinations will be placed on Tallinn and Tartu, bigger cities in Ida-Viru County, Rakvere and Pärnu. Two new vaccination centers will be opened in Tallinn next week - one in Mustamäe and one in Lasnamäe.
Seer noted that a third vaccination center - at Sõle Sports Hall - will be opened in Tallinn in June, where the vaccination cycle for people inoculated with AstraZeneca vaccines around Easter in the same location will be completed. Inoculations in county centers will be conducted in local hospitals.
Seer confirmed that in case a person is not able to book a time in Tallinn, they can also look at Rapla and Pärnu. But people should consider that they need to go back to the same location for their second dose.
Starting this Thursday, people aged 40 and above can register for vaccination in the digital registry. Time slots for younger people (16+) will be opened next Monday.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste