Vaccine manufacturers have promised to ship all ordered vaccine doses to Estonia by the end of June, but the Ministry of Social Affairs has no overview of shipments to follow in the remaining summer months.
Although vaccine shipments were supposed to improve as the year progresses, the situation of there being more applicants for vaccines than doses still continues and manufacturers have not met their initially promised shipment schedules.
Pfizer/BioNTech has reduced their initially scheduled shipments over the past few weeks. Marek Seer, head of the COVID-19 vaccination work group, said manufacturers simply cannot meet demand, which is causing a delay in shipments.
Minister of Health and Labour Tanel Kiik (Center) confirmed that manufacturers have promised to fulfill their promised capacities for the first six months of this year by the end of June.
Kiik also sees a positive aspect to reduced shipments. "Increasing production capacity and permit issuance is, and should be, a demanding process. This shows that there are no concessions made in quality, even during a crisis," the minister said on Wednesday.
Kiik assessed that the shipment situation will still improve as time goes on. At the same time, he noted that he has no clue what will happen after June. "We do not know any shipments in July or August that we can certain of, no first nor second doses."
Vaccination at workplaces spreading across Estonia
So far, workplace vaccinations have been tested in Ida-Viru and Harju counties. The option has been welcomed and interest remains high. For this reason, the option of calling a vaccination point to the workplace will be extended to cover the entirety of Estonia.
People who have not gotten vaccinated yet will be sent a notification through the eesti.ee portal, which will remind them of getting inoculated as soon as possible in order to prepare the nation for a possible third wave in the fall.
Vaccine coverage has exceeded 50 percent in ten of the 15 Estonian counties. The nationwide 50 percent mark is set to be hit around the midpoint of June and the government has established a goal of 70 percent vaccine coverage by the end of July.
Kiik said that it will get more difficult to increase the vaccine coverage as demand will decrease with a concurrent rise in the number of vaccinated people.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste