University of Tartu cell biology professor Toivo Maimets said Estonia cannot be pleased with its vaccination coverage process and peoples' motivation should continue to be increased, especially with creating restriction exemptions for vaccinated people.
"We must understand that there are only two ways to limit the spread of the coronavirus: the 16th-17th century option of complete isolation or the 20th century option, meaning working and efficient vaccines. Other natural, animal and plant products do not count," Maimets told Vikerraadio's morning program "Vikerhommik" on Monday.
"The more vaccinations, the less there are restrictions. It is up to us all to increase the tempo," the professor added.
Maimets agrees with the head of the government's scientific council Irja Lutsar about there having to be more positive coverage about vaccinations. But he agrees even further with family physician Karmen Joller, who said people should clearly see the advantages of getting inoculated.
Maimets pointed to Denmark, where he recently went on a visit. The country has clear rules - if a person wants to enter a museum, they show a vaccination certificate, a negative coronavirus test no older than three days or proof of recovery. He said this does not show that Denmark is an undemocratic state, but they have instead taken upon themselves to show the people what is useful and what is not.
"It is clear that light head patting will no longer do and motivation must be enhanced on the activity side," the professor said, joking that Finland has come to Estonia's "aid", restricting travel possibilities with a vaccination certificate, testing or proof of recovery.
Maimets emphasized repeatedly that any kind of vaccine is better than none, even in conditions where the virus is relatively new and there are other strains. All vaccines approved in the EU are effective against serious illness and death.
As of Monday morning, 581,988 people in Estonia have been vaccinated with one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste