Social ministry official: Interest in vaccination is falling

Heidi Alasepp.
Heidi Alasepp. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The lukewarm interest in the coronavirus vaccine highlights the declining interest in vaccination which has been seen in recent years, new Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs Heidi Alasepp said on ETV's interview show "Esimene stuudio".

On Wednesday, the deadline fell for when the Ministry of Social Affairs hoped 70 percent of the adult population in Estonia would be vaccinated. Currently, the rate is 66 percent.

"I am glad that today it is 66 percent," Alasepp said in the broadcast.

She said very good vaccines are available in Estonia, but people have fears and believe many myths about the vaccines. She said many fears can be overcome by talking to a professional.

Alasepp said the interest in vaccination, in general, has decreased in Estonia.

"Perhaps this crisis shows us now the situation with immunization has decreased in Estonia. And I am very sorry that we, as a society, are moving backward a little in some areas," the undersecretary said.

"Is it our awareness, our health education, why can't we contribute to ourselves? Are these myths, fears. I can't say," she commented on the possible reasons.

Alasepp said that it would be ideal if 80 percent of adults in Estonia would get vaccinated against the coronavirus. "I hope this is a topic for the first quarter of next year," she said.

Alasepp said she is creating a crisis management team in the health sector. "Believe me, it is very much needed today," she said, noting that it was probably needed earlier.

"I also know this because I worked as an expert in the Health Board (Terviseamet) half a year ago, then, in fact, the medical processes were very well managed, even then. But maybe now at the level of strategic management, we need to make some adjustments, discuss the topics. In the long run, too, we really have to start coming out of this crisis. We need to re-establish more normal processes," Alasepp said.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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