Health Board: Around 3 percent of vaccinated people have had Covid

Vaccination in progress.
Vaccination in progress. Source: DoroT Schenk / Pixabay

Around three percent of fully-vaccinated people in Estonia have contracted the coronavirus at some point, a Health Board (Terviseamet) spokesperson told ERR.

Of 766,406 people who have completed a coronavirus vaccination course, around 23,000 have contracted the virus, Kirsi Puudel of the Health Board says, adding that vaccination is still key in staving off even worse infection rates and fatality statistics.

She said: "We can see that vaccination has prevented even higher morbidity and mortality. Unvaccinated people are many times more likely to be hospitalized and die."

This was even more so given that many of the deaths involved people in the 60+ age group and other at risk groups.

Around 70 percent of 60s and over are now vaccinated, though the vast majority of deaths from the virus relate to old age and co-morbidities, Puudel said.

"Their immunity is weakened by co-morbidities and the vaccine is unable to achieve its expected effectiveness," she said.

As of Friday, 683 people had contracted Covid a second time, where 181 days or more had elapsed since the previous positive test, with a further 382 people having contracted the virus a second time, after testing positive 91-180 days earlier.

As of Thursday, 3,210 people whose vaccination course was ongoing had contracted the virus, ERR reports.

Tallinn coronavirus prevention chief: Vaccination rates in school districts very uneven

Vaccination rates meanwhile in Tallinn schools, among students aged 12-17, are very unevenly distributed across districts, with some, more affluent districts such as Nõmme and Pirita seeing in excess of 60 percent of students in the age group vaccinated, while in Lasnamäe the figure is nearly half that, at under 34 percent.

Please note that "vaccinated" in these figures includes those who have received one vaccination dose and not completed a vaccination course.

At the same time, some districts with high rates of vaccination, in particular the city center, also have high rates of infection – though, Ester Öpik, coronavirus prevention coordinator at Tallinn city government says, outbreaks in schools follow quite a different pattern from the surrounding area as a whole, and also reflect the fact that while staff were vaccinated earlier on, with schoolchildren this is a quite recent phenomenon.

Öpik said: "For example, children under the age of 12 are not vaccinated, but the virus is most prevalent in this age group," adding that since teachers had mostly been inoculated with the AstraZeneca product earlier on in the year, when it was still in use in Estonia, the effects of the vaccine have weakened, while schoolchildren often have not completed a vaccination course. This means that the virus can still actively spread among teaching staff.

In the city center (Kesklinn), 20 outbreak foci have been identified, while 299 students and 80 staff have been infected in total. 62.6 percent

In Nõmme, where the proportion of vaccinated school students (with at least one dose) age 12-17 is highest at 67.1 percent, the picture is not that much better, Öpik said. A total of seven outbreaks have been identified in Nõmme schools, affecting 115 children and 20 teachers.

Conversely, Lasnamäe, with by far the lowest vaccination rate in the 12-17 age-group at 33.8 percent and also the most populous district of the city, sees six coronavirus outbreaks affecting 144 children and 16 staff.

This did not change the fact that vaccination is necessary, Öpik went on. "Of course, vaccination is necessary and Tallinn provides various opportunities for this - from vaccination in schools to special vaccination and counseling tents in the city."

Tallinn 12-17-year-olds' vaccination rates lower than Tartu, Viljandi and higher than Pärnu

51.5 percent of schoolchildren in Tallinn as a whole have been vaccinated, in the 12-17 age group, compared with 69.4 percent in Tartu, 58.8 percent in Viljandi, 46.5 percent in Pärnu and just 29.3 percent in Narva.

The proportion of 12-17-year-olds vaccinated with at least one Covid dose in the remaining districts of Tallinn are: Kristiine, 63.2 percent, Pirita 61.8 percent, Haabersti 52.8 percent, Mustamäe 51 percent and Põhja Tallinn 49.1 pernce.t


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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