Lutsar worried about pace of vaccination

Irja Lutsar.
Irja Lutsar. Source: ERR / Siim Lõvi

Professor Irja Lutsar, head of the government's scientific advisory council, is concerned about the pace of vaccination now that the coronavirus infection rate is rising.

Lutsar said at the moment the virus is being caught and spread by young people.

"There are relatively few infections in the groups such as 70+ or ​​even 50+. This in turn means that the hospital load has been fairly stable for quite a few weeks, with 15-20 people in hospital. And mortality rates are also very low," said Lutsar told ERR on Tuesday, but added young people can also end up in hospital.

"In a couple of weeks, there will be a situation where half of the patients in hospital are over 60 and half are under 60," she said. Currently, the average age of patients in hospital is 57.

The virology professor said the vaccination coverage rate - which is 54 percent - is not good enough. Lutsar said the government needs to push the vaccination message more.

"Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. That's the most important thing. We have to use that time now. I don't think we need restrictions anymore, but I also don't think we should take the attitude that it's all over," Lutsar said.

"If the infection gets very high, it will inevitably start to infect older people as well. We have 30 percent of older people unvaccinated and this is a very large risk population and it is not such a small number."

She reiterated that the Delta strain is now the dominant variant in Estonia and 80 percent of cases have are linked to the strain.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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