Social ministry looking for new vaccine workgroup manager

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Tanel Kiik. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Ministry of Social Affairs is looking for a new manager for its vaccination workgroup. Current head Marek Seer will not continue in the role after September.

Seer is in charge of overseeing Estonia's vaccination rollout and has decided not to extend his contract when it expires in two months time.

Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said the group's work will continue and the new manager will probably come from the health care sector.

"We need to continue to move forward with the vaccination of the Estonian population, and at the same time it is known that booster vaccinations will probably have to start in the new year," Kiik told ERR.

"Currently, the vast majority of the members of the vaccination team are representatives of various government agencies or health care institutions. The question now is whether the leader of this team will be one of the current members of the team or a full-time vaccination coordinator. No one has been selected yet. These meetings are planned to take place this month so that it would be clear how we will proceed from September when Marek Seer's term ends."

The minister said the most important thing is to make sure Estonia reaches the 70 percent coverage target by September 22. To hit this target, Estonia needs to vaccinate 20,000 people a week but the target has fallen short in recent weeks due to the summer holidays. Currently, 53 percent of the adult population are vaccinated.

He said there is no shortage of vaccinations in Estonia, although fewer are being delivered, and different solutions will be needed to encourage people to get vaccinated. 

Kiik said this week 29,250 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 7,200 doses of Moderna vaccine will arrive in Estonia. Next week, 29,250 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, 7,200 doses of Moderna vaccine and 8,000 doses of Jannsen are expected.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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