Vaccination chief: Pharmacies' role in vaccinations cannot be understated

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A pharmacy. Source: ERR

Starting this week, it has been possible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in pharmacies. Head of the COVID-19 vaccination work group Marek Seer said in addition to the pharmacies' role of vaccinator, they must also advise people.

This week, eight pharmacies began vaccinating people and 18 people per pharmacy were vaccinated to start the week, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Tuesday evening.

Vaccination chief Marek Seer said the pharmacies' role cannot be understated. "Pharmacists have a very important adviser role. Among many things, while buying prescription medicines, the pharmacist can also explain vaccinations and maybe answer a few questions and why not even help them register. So it is complex and a very important part. It cannot be understated," Seer said.

The maximum number of pharmacies that can conduct vaccinations in Estonia is 45. How many will the service be available in will depend on interest and demand.

"We wish to extend to Saaremaa, Rakvere and Haapsalu next week. There will also be additional pharmacies in Tartu," said Estonian Pharmacies Association head Ly Rootslane.

Vaccinations in pharmacies mostly take place on evenings and weekends. "I have received feedback that it is simple, fast and comfortable. Since family physicians are mostly occupied, they have to treat sick people, making it hard to book a suitable time. But we vaccinate on evenings and weekends. And you can register online since last year so you do not have to queue up. You can basically choose a time suitable for you," said Benita Kodu nursing manager Annika Krist.

Only the two-dose Pfizer vaccine is used in pharmacies for now with registration for the second dose taking place on location. "First doses will be administered until September 30 and second doses to people who did not get a second dose will be vaccinated after that," said Ly Rootslane.

Registration for vaccinations in pharmacies takes place at vaktsineeriapteegis.ee (link in Estonian). After choosing "koroonaviirus", a list of pharmacies is shown with contact information provided. If the pharmacies have time, they will also provide vaccinations without registration.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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