1247 helpline can be used to register for vaccinations

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Emergency Response Center Source: ERR

To ease the burden on the digital registry, COVID-19 vaccination applicants can call the national COVID-19 helpline number 1247 from 8 a.m. on Tuesday to begin registering for vaccinations.

Deputy chief of the COVID-19 vaccination work group Arkadi Popov said that people can begin registering for vaccinations on the helpline from Tuesday morning. The helpline is open 12 hours a day, meaning 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., seven days a week.

"It is a very important additional resource. This helpline allows us to lessen the burden on the digital registry," Popov said. He added that the helpline was created in cooperation between the Emergency Response Center and West Tallinn Central Hospital.

All adults and people aged 16-17 can register for a vaccination time slot starting 7 p.m. on Monday. True, the latter group can not book times for themselves and have to go to their legal guardian for registration. There will be some 25,000 new time slots added on Monday, the majority of which will be for June.

At the same time, the digital registry was already overburdened on Monday due to the amount of interest, which eventually led to the digital queue to be put on hold.

Vaccination work group chief Marek Seer said the digital registry has been developed to not have too many people on at the same time, as the system is also linked to the hospital information registry.

"Why can't everyone get in to register and book times? The digital registry is not built in that way and it is also linked to the hospital information registry. To let 20,000 people use the service at one time, the system upkeep would cost €15 million yearly. It is not reasonable for one-time need, because the great urge will likely pass in a few days," Seer said.

At the same time, Seer admitted that there will likely be fewer vaccines arriving in Estonia over the next weeks than there are people wanting to get inoculated.

He also pointed out that if people have already received one vaccine dose, they do not need to register for another dose. If the person has recovered from the coronavirus, they only need one dose and it should not be done any earlier than six months after recovery. Vaccinations are not tied to place of residence, but it should be considered that the second dose will be done at the same location as the first.

Mass vaccination centers will be using Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen vaccines, but not AstraZeneca. "That vaccine has its medical restrictions. To lessen logistical issues in vaccination centers and to avoid mistakes in vaccine storage, we will use mRNA vaccines. But AstraZeneca is still in use in the 50+ age group," Arkadi Popov said and added that vaccinations should be completed with the same vaccine as they were started with.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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