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Health Insurance Fund orders more Covid vaccine doses due to high interest

A child receiving a vaccination against coronavirus on December 17, 2021.
A child receiving a vaccination against coronavirus on December 17, 2021. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The desire to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and influenza has risen in Estonia this year. An additional batch of Covid-19 vaccines is due to arrive in Estonia next week. Meanwhile, the flu vaccine, which has been in short supply in some places, should also be available everywhere thanks to the recent arrival of new doses.

Additional doses of Covid-19 vaccine will arrive in Estonia next week and are primarily intended for those in the highest-risk groups. The vaccines in question are Pfizer, with 11,560 doses ordered. A further 25,000 doses of the same vaccine will also arrive in the second half of December.

Igor Ljapin, chief specialist at the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (Tervisekassa), told ERR that since neither shortages nor surpluses are acceptable when ordering vaccines, yet, at the same time it is necessary to ensure that target groups are vaccinated, it is difficult to forecast the precise seasonal need. This year, Ljapin says, people's interest in getting vaccinated has increased.

"This is indeed reflected in the increased interest in vaccination against the flu and Covid-19 viruses during the current viral season - the Estonian people are more and more aware and protecting themselves," Ljapin said.

While in the second half of November, flu vaccine stocks were running low in some parts of Estonia, any concerns should now be laid to rest, said Ljapin, as 7,040 additional doses for at-risk groups arrived at the end of November.

Estonia's Immunoprophylaxis Expert Committee recommends vaccination against Covid-19 in 2023 for all those in at-risk groups. This includes people aged 60+, along with both children and adults with certain prior health conditions. This applies to those whose most recent vaccine dose or case of Covid was more than six months ago.

The flu vaccine is available free of charge to people in general and special care, anyone aged 60+, women with children, children up to seven years old and minors at risk of influenza who have a medical condition that puts them at a higher risk of contracting a severe form of the illness.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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