Tartu leads youth vaccinations

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Syringes (photo is illustrative). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Tartu is concentrating on immunizing children and youths, which efforts have given it the greatest vaccine coverage in the age group. The county hopes to make sure 70 percent of children aged 12-17 have received at least one dose of vaccine by the start of the school year.

While most places in Estonia have managed to vaccinate 10-20 percent of 12-17-year-olds, the figure is over 40 percent in Tartu County. Deputy Mayor Mihkel Lees said that regional efforts have concentrated on youths to make sure contact study is possible in the fall.

"We want as many Tartu students as possible vaccinated before September 1 as only launching relevant efforts once school starts would come hopelessly late," Lees said.

"We are seeing the number of walk-ins starting to grow in our immunization centers. We have turned to parents through schools, utilized social media to reach children in their language so to speak," said Tiina Teder, coordinator for the Tartu Vaccination Center.

Mihkel Lees said that at least 70 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 17 could be vaccinated with at least one dose by September 1. The deputy mayor added that vaccination figures can be expected to grow in August as children return from summer camps.

"My message to counties and municipality governments is that it is possible to gauge interest in immunization and determine the obstacles or reasons why people are not being vaccinated. I believe people and parents will start to think more about school. We still have time as there is a little over four weeks to go [until school]," Teder said.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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