The City of Tartu and Tartu University Hospital have launched an information campaign – "Open Tartu" – to help provide a new boost to vaccinating city residents and to also keep Tartu open in the autumn.
The campaign will see the testing of a vaccination bus and encourage everyone who has not been vaccinated so far to do so, with an emphasis on school children and older people. Until the end of August, it will be possible to get vaccinated with Pfizer without appointments at the Tartu vaccination center at Le Coq Sport sports at Ihaste 7.
Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas (Reform) said: "We must all work together to ensure that normal life will continue without any major restrictions in the autumn."
There will be a big emphasis on vaccinating schoolchildren and an advertising campaign will be launched to encourage teenagers to get vaccinated. In Estonia, anyone over 12 can receive the vaccine.
This week, all parents and children will be sent an invitation from their schools to get vaccinated before the start of the school year, and social media will also be used to inform students.
Tartu deputy mayor Mihkel Lees said the City Government believes school children should be vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent hotspots from developing when the term starts in the autumn.
"Immediate action is needed in order to prevent hotspots from developing in schools this autumn. If we wait for autumn, when the children are heading to school, it will be too late," Lees said.
It is also hoped that even more elderly and Russian-speaking city residents will be vaccinated. Information about the possibility to receive a vaccination on a first-come-first-serve basis will be sent to residents by mail in Annelinn and Jaamamõisa districts.
For people with reduced mobility, the City Government's Department of Social Welfare and Health Care provides assistance with transportation to the vaccination centre or for vaccination at home (telephone 736-1300).
A vaccination team from Tartu University Hospital will be on Car-Free Avenue this week, from July 14-15, to share information about vaccination opportunities with Tartu residents and visitors to Tartu.
The City Government is also testing a vaccination bus, which will take interested people from the city centre to the vaccination centre and back. This week, buses will run from 10.30 a.m. to 12 noon on July 14 and from 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on July 15, travelling every half hour from the Market Building end of Car-Free Avenue to the Tartu vaccination centre and back. If there is sufficient interest in the vaccination bus, its hours of operation will be extended and it will be tested in other locations.
It is also possible to book vaccinations on the National eBooking system, by telephoning the state helpline 1247, or by calling the Tartu University Hospital's pre-registration centre on 731-7200.
Tartu County has a vaccination coverage rate of 64.3 percent, which is one of the highest in Estonia but the goal is to reach 70 percent by September.
Editor: Helen Wright