Family physician: Vaccinating another 100,000 people a realistic goal

Elle-Mall Sadrak.
Elle-Mall Sadrak. Source: ERR

Laagri family medicine center physician Elle-Mall Sadrak said she considers vaccinating another 100,000 people to be a realistic goal.

Sadrak said on ETV's interview show "Esimene stuudio" on Wednesday that vaccinating 100,000 people is realistic and that the vaccination drive initiated by the family physicians of Estonia will help in achieving that goal.

"It is perfect timing in regards to restrictions, perfect timing in regards to us having enough vaccines and the option of booster doses. And family physicians are not swamped yet today, we have the physical resource to conduct these vaccinations. It is the last time to do it," Sadrak said.

"100,000 people is realistic, I think," she told show host Mirko Ojakivi.

She said reaching people over the age of 60 is a different task, because it has to be taken into account when these people grew up. "These people come from a time where the last injection they had was in school. They have not gotten any after that, no vaccines in their adult life. Perhaps some have gotten vaccinated if they regularly come for influenza and tick vaccines. But the majority is not used to vaccinating. And every new thing at a certain age causes fear and requires more convincing," Sadrak said.

The family physician said there is too much information spreading and pressuring people is pushing them away. She noted that people must be talked to repeatedly because a decision to vaccinate may come after three discussions.

Sadrak noted that most people over the age of 60 are hesitant to get the vaccine. "There are very few completely against it in that group," the family physician said.

She added that the Family Physicians Association's coronavirus active group is currently drawing up triage instructions for which patients to admit. "We are trying to make it so no one is left helpless at family medicine centers," Sadrak said.

If the worst scenario were to arrive and doctors had to make choices over who to give treatment in hospitals, Sadrak said the choices will not be made based on vaccination status, but rather who has the highest chance of recovery.

The family physician praised the education ministry's decision to use rapid tests in schools to test students and teachers twice a week. "The Family Physicians Association supports frequent rapid testing. And this rapid testing could also be considered for care homes to catch the outbreaks there as soon as possible and distance infected people from others," Sadrak said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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