Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said at a government press conference on Thursday that the issue of herd immunity is off the table and it is now clear that there will be no major easing of restrictions after the turn of the year.
"People cannot hope that infection will pass by them. It will not. It cannot be expected that if vaccination coverage is high enough, the infection will bypass unvaccinated people," he said.
"In the case of the current highly infectious strains, one cannot place hope on people around them being vaccinated. Unfortunately, this is not how it works. At present, the individual protection of everyone is important," Kiik said.
"The only way to protect yourself and protect your family members is to get vaccinated, get a booster dose. This is especially important in light of the spread of the omicron strain," the minister said.
According to Kiik, the European Commission has started negotiations with Pfizer/BioNTech to obtain more vaccines due to the need for booster doses. "There is a clear consensus in the government that Estonia will also take part in the EU's joint purchase of vaccines," the minister said.
According to Kiik, the government is still discussing issues related to COVID-19, but it is clear that no major easing of restrictions is expected after the turn of the year. "Rather, the opposite is to be expected, because with the Omicron strain, it is only a matter of time before the load on hospitals increases," he said.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste