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Riigikogu select committee: Vaccination goal must be raised

AstraZeneca  vaccine.
AstraZeneca vaccine. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Riigikogu's state budget control select committee met with school leaders and representatives of businesses, including private medical companies, and local governments to listen to their proposals for improving vaccination, emphasizing that the goal of vaccination must be raised.

Select committee chairman Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said that many of the proposals heard have already been made here and there, but they have not yet been presented in such a compact way. The committee took the view that the implementation of the vaccination proposals to accelerate vaccination made by Tallink CEO Paavo Nõgene's working group could increase the vaccination ambition to 80 percent from the end of September instead of the 70 percent set by the government.

The special committee would like to receive feedback from the Ministry of Social Affairs next week on the proposals of the working group led by Paavo Nõgene as to which can be implemented quickly and which cannot.

"We have had quite a few sessions on vaccination since the spring, but unfortunately the number of questions is not decreasing, but increasing. Major errors have become apparent as to why vaccination stalled in the summer. Namely, from May to July, family doctors were essentially excluded, not enough private healthcare institutions were involved, and the activities had no systematic implementation plan," Reinsalu said.

The committee identified that there is still no specific vaccination implementation plan and considered it important that it be developed without delay. The action plan should include specific milestones by target groups.

The committee also urges the government to continue with regular antibody and waste water surveys. The committee also considered it important that representatives of municipalities and businesses be involved in the work of the vaccination working group.

According to Marek Jürgenson (Center), deputy chairman of the select committee, it is important that the proposals heard reach the decision-makers via the head of the vaccination working group. "So far, the circle of decision-makers has been quite narrow, which is justified in a situation that requires urgent action. But we should also listen to those who are really affected by the restrictions and on whom the livelihoods of thousands of workers depend," Jürgenson said.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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