Health minister Tanel Kiik (Center) opposes creating an additional category of coronavirus certification for those who have recovered from the virus and who as a result have anti-bodies present in their system, but who had not ever had a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test confirming they had the virus.
Since such an additional certificate would not be valid internationally, Kiik added, there was even less reason to create one, and recommends such individuals get another coronavirus vaccine dose, on the basis of an anti-body test.
Kiik said: "We have not gone down this path, because it would create confusion internationally. We have jointly decided that at the EU level, the certificate obtained after the passage is valid for six months. This additional category could only be national."
"The level of antibodies in the body can vary greatly post-recovery. This means it is still recommended to get vaccinated with a single shot [after recover], to get a higher and more uniform protection, and a 12-month valid certificate," Kiik went on, noting that some people who had asymptomatic coronavirus may not have antibodies present.
Kiik made his remarks following a proposal from virologist Professor Irja Lutsar, who heads up the government's coronavirus task force, to introduce a short-term certificate of recovery, usable only inside Estonia's borders.
A court recently issued interim injunctions which grant to specific, unvaccinated individuals who had recovered from the virus and exhibited proven coronavirus antibodies, the same status as vaccinated persons.
The injunction is temporary, and only pertains to those who successfully applied to the court, rather than those who recovered in general.
Up to 100,000 people in Estonia may have contracted and recovered from coronavirus who are not entered into official statistics, since their illness was not confirmed via an official PCR test, but at the same time will have anti-bodies, precisely because they recovered from the illness.
At present, a coronavirus vaccination certificate should be requested when attending public gatherings, where public gatherings is taken to include wining and dining at restaurants or bars, attending cinema screenings or theater plays etc., in addition to cutting out quarantine requirements when traveling.
Editor: Andrew Whyte