Family physicians to focus on vaccinations over next few weeks

Coronavirus vaccinations.
Coronavirus vaccinations. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Over the next two weeks, family physicians will mostly focus on increasing the vaccination rate and regular visits may be rescheduled. Although there are enough vaccine doses for all physician centers, the doctors say they have run out of ideas to get people to vaccinate.

Private sector health firm Medicum head nurse Andra Õismaa said the company's family physicians are under a heavy workload even without vaccinations. She said the doctors cannot do two things at once and will leave their regular visits and obligations on hold for two weeks, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Monday.

"We are administering a lot of second doses currently, this means the people started their vaccination process in August. We are also administering first doses. There have been very few booster doses: staff, medics and people with immune deficiencies and for those the doses are intended for," Õismaa said.

Medicum administers 100 to 500 vaccines a day and at least two vaccination cabinets are open each day. Due to a lack of time, more and more people are called to vaccinate via phone. Õismaa said plenty of information about the effects of the vaccines has been provided and doctors no longer try to convince people to get vaccinated.

"The decision has to be made by each person. I unfortunately do not have a magic stick," the nurse said.

While Tallinn has its struggles, the city of Maardu is in greater worry since only 50 percent of the population are vaccinated and booster doses are not administered. Maardu family medicine center physician Svetlana Kaasik said the locals are still waiting for the Russian Sputnik vaccine and the time allocated for administering vaccinations is spent on calling people to motivate them.

"We are currently wasting a lot of time on phone consultations. It is not just a call to a patient to offer them a vaccine, we must talk to them for a long time. For some reason, our people... A large part of the population is against vaccines. We do not know why. And we must explain to them from A to Z," Kaasik said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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