Interest in booster doses inconsistent nationwide
In the month of October, a total of 48,000 people were given an opportunity to get a third dose of the coronavirus, but interest for the booster doses has been inconsistent.
Head of the Estonian Family Medicine Association Le Vallikivi said it is difficult finding people interested in getting their first COVID-19 vaccine dose currently. At the same time, third doses are very popular, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Thursday evening.
"We have not had to call anyone to get our time slots filled because older people have actually been through since the summer," Vallikivi, who works in Tallinn, said.
At the same time, interest for booster doses is not as great in other parts of Estonia. For example, family physician Anne Kaldoja of the Räpina physician center said most people coming to get vaccinated in Räpina are getting first and second doses. Interest for the third dose has been low.
There are also physician centers that have not yet begun administering third doses. The Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa) does not have any data on how many of these centers exist in Estonia.
The fund was also not ready to publish how many vaccinations certain physician centers have administered. Vallikivi said the most recent data about family physician vaccinations is as of September 27.
"57 percent of family physician centers were vaccinating actively and I hope this percentage has increased," the family physician said.
Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said 48,000 people will get an opportunity to get a third dose. This group consists of people working in the healthcare, social and education sectors and the elderly.
As of Thursday, some 5,000 booster doses have been administered. "For booster doses, I can say that healthcare establishments have gotten off to the fastest start, vaccinating care home workers and calling the elderly," Kiik said.
The minister noted that the six-month interval between doses will come at a later date for education workers. "Once the six months is starting to arrive, booster doses will be administered by school nurses and healthcare establishments," Kiik said.
The health minister said the circle of those available to get booster doses will extend from December and the public is likely to have the option of getting a third dose at the start of next year.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste