Over seventy thousand anti-coronavirus vaccines were administered in Estonia in the week commencing Monday, June 14, a record figure since supplies started arriving at the beginning of the year. Vaccine coverage has just surpassed fifty percent of the adult population.
A total of 70,104 vaccines were issued last week, bringing the total number of people in Estonia vaccinated to 544,309 as of Monday morning, almost exactly 50 percent of the adult population, while 398,697 of these have completed the course, i.e. received both doses of vaccines.
The previous weekly record stood at 67,627 vaccinations, attained in week 18 of the year (week commencing Monday May 3 – ed.), ERR reports.
Health minister Tanel Kiik said that the progress was needed given the high probability of a third wave of infections, particularly of the so-called delta strain.
Kiik said: "Vaccination in Estonia is voluntary and it is the responsibility of each person to take this necessary step to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.
"I am very pleased that more than 540,000 people have already used this opportunity, while this figure is growing day-by-day. By being vaccinated, we are all contributing to [halting] the spread of the virus, so that freedoms we are now enjoying can continue in the autumn," Kiik went on.
Most of the coronavirus restrictions were lifted through May and June, while only two countries' arrivals currently need to quarantine when they come to Estonia.
Vaccination centers will continue to operate to ensure the program remains on track, ERR reports, while employers will also be offering vaccinations to staff in some cases, and cooperation with the private sector continues.
Centers focusing on the defense forces and the prison population, both sectors which have seen outbreaks in recent months, are also to be set up, and cooperation on a regional level with local government is also continuing.
The figure for the past three weeks' vaccinations has exceeded the 66,000-mark, though studies say that the vaccination course must be completed to ensure efficacy – in the case of the Janssen product, which only requires one dose, effectiveness kicks in around two weeks after the shot, as is the case with the second doses of Moderna's product. With Pfizer/BioNTech, vaccination is effective from a week after the second dose, ERR reports.
one week after the second dose for Pfizer, two weeks after the second dose for Moderna and Astra Zeneca . The duration of the vaccination course is at least one year. There is also a digital certificate for at least one year of EU vaccination, which makes it easier to travel and visit many events in Estonia without testing.
Vaccination times can be booked via the online Patient Portal or via the general national information helpline on 1247.
As of Monday morning, over 6,000 vaccine slots were available nationwide, primarily for next week and the week after, ERR reports.
Editor: Andrew Whyte