People aged 30 and older will be able to start booking an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination in the national e-booking system from Saturday (May 15), while younger people will be able to do so from Monday.
People aged at least 30 can start scheduling vaccination appointments from Saturday, and at 7 p.m. on May 17, the option to book an appointment will be made available for everyone aged at least 16, spokespeople for the Ministry of Social Affairs said on Friday.
COVID-19 vaccination project leader Marek Seer said that the workgroup on vaccinations opted for making scheduling available to people aged at least 30 in order to disperse the burden on the e-booking system and the relating IT systems of hospitals. Available time slots for vaccinations for the coming weeks numbered close to 8,300 across Estonia at 4 p.m. on Friday.
The option to register for vaccination will open for people aged 16 and over after the end of the working day on Monday because vaccine producers are to announce their supply schedules on Monday, enabling vaccine centers to open new vaccination time slots in June.
"We want to reduce the burden on the e-booking system during the daytime because the platform is used by many people also for purposes other than registering for vaccination," Seer said.
"Queues are to be expected once more on the e-booking system both on Saturday and on Monday evening and Tuesday because people are very interested in getting vaccinated," Seer said. "[Thursday's] experience with the opening of vaccination schedules for people aged over 40 showed that save a few rush hours, on average people need to wait for an hour before they can log into the e-booking system. Booking an appointment for vaccination was already possible without any queues in the evening and on the following day."
The average waiting time to log into the system on Thursday was 30 minutes while the longest queues were 104 minutes long.
In order to reduce the burden on the national e-booking system, organizers of the vaccine drive highlighted that people who have already received their first vaccine dose do not need to book an appointment for getting their booster shot as an appointment has already been made for them. People who have already recovered from COVID-19 need not hurry with their vaccination, either, as the national expert committee on immunoprophylaxis recommends vaccinating these people no earlier than six months after their recovery.
Everyone who wants to be vaccinated against the coronavirus will be able to get their first vaccine dose in either May or June.
Booking a timeslot
You can book a vaccination time slot via the eBooking system, where information about the time slots available is updated according to details about vaccine shipments that have arrived in Estonia.
You can also contact the reception service for individual hospitals or a private healthcare institution that is providing vaccination services. Identify yourself by using your Smart-ID card, Mobile ID card, or ID card.
People in risk groups can book a vaccination time slot via their local family health center or at any other healthcare institution.
You can also watch a video about how to book an appointment: booking a vaccination time slot via the eBooking system. The video is in Estonian, but the booking system itself is accessible in Estonian, English and Russian.
Instructions for booking a time slot via the eBooking system can also be obtained by calling the following telephone number: 600 3033. The line is open every day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Editor: Helen Wright