Lutsar: higher vaccination rate would save people from restrictions

Irja Lutsar, chief of the government's coronavirus advisory council.
Irja Lutsar, chief of the government's coronavirus advisory council. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

If the vaccination rate was as high as it is in Denmark, then Estonia could also remove most of its restrictions, chief of the government's coronavirus advisory board Professor Irja Lutsar says.

"Our thoughts are also moving towards the fact that the rate of vaccinated population is very important. When we look at the Danish populace, then 71 percent of them are completely vaccinated. But in our case, it's more like somewhere near 50 percent," Lutsar said.

The Danish government decided last week that the state is lifting all coronavirus restrictions from September 10. The public are no longer even required to present a coronavirus certificate.

Lutsar stressed that in Denmark, almost 100 percent of the at-risk 60+ age group is vaccinated.

"As we already know, vaccinated people get milder symptoms, and several times fewer people need hospital treatment. Our own data also shows that - our hospitals aren't full yet, but the infection rate is high. One of the reasons is that a lot of people are vaccinated now," Lutsar said.

Lutsar noted that in spring, 6-7 percent of all infected people needed hospital treatment, but now the figure is around 3-5 percent.

Commenting on the fact that to reach the level of Denmark, 250,000 more people should be vaccinated in Estonia, Lutsar said that family doctors are the key.

"When we look at what's going on in our hospitals, then 60 percent of the people in hospitals are over 60 years old. They're mainly filled with elderly people. In this demographic, 30 percent are not vaccinated, so the focus should be there. And family doctors should manage it," Lutsar said.

Lutsar stressed that strengthening the health care system and hospitals, is also a priority.

Lutsar added that the current vaccination pace of 15,000 people a week, should be increased.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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