As of this morning, 133,263 people, or 12% of the adult population of Estonia, have protected themselves against COVID-19 with at least one dose of the vaccine. 80,614 people have received both doses of the vaccine. More than 39,500 vaccinations have been performed within a week, 5513 of them in the course of yesterday. Vaccinations will also continue on Sunday.
“The common objective of us all is to overcome the COVID-19 crisis quickly and return to as regular an order of life as possible. We can do this by being more responsible and health conscious, and by reducing our contacts with other people in order to limit the spread of the virus. At the same time, our priority is using vaccinations to protect those who are at the highest risk from COVID-19,” said Tanel Kiik, the Minister of Health and Labour.
Today, as a weekend pilot project in preparation to vaccinating all who want to get vaccinated, different healthcare facilities all over Estonia continue vaccinating people over the age of 65 and front line workers. In the coming week, the family doctors will continue vaccinating people who are in a risk group, and the vaccination of educators and social care workers is underway at the same time. During March, among other front line workers, vaccinations are also made available to people working in positions that are strategically important for solving the COVID-19 crisis, including members of the Parliament and the government.
Yesterday’s vaccinations took place in 59 healthcare institutions, including 45 family health centres across Estonia. Altogether, 476 different healthcare service providers have conducted vaccinations by now. More than half of all vaccinations have been administered in 390 family health centres.
“Family health centres are the part of the healthcare network that covers Estonia the most evenly and is the closest to home, and have supported us in offering people vaccinations near their homes. The logistics of the vaccines are somewhat more complicated this way but going to get vaccinated is more convenient and safer for people,” Minister Tanel Kiik explained. “Estonian people’s trust in family doctors and nurses is deservedly high, and the readiness to get vaccinated is also higher due to this. I would like to thank all highly committed healthcare workers who make daily efforts so that we could offer as many people as possible protection from COVID-19 with vaccinations.”
In terms of age groups, the group with the highest vaccination coverage is people who are 80 years old or older, close to a third of whom (32.2%) across Estonia have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Among the 75-79 year olds the coverage is 16%, among the 70-74 year olds 15.3%, among the 65-69 year olds 16.7%, among the 60-64 year olds 16.3%, among the 55-59 year olds 14%, and among the 50-54 year olds 13.8%. 7.3% of the people who are under the age of 50 have been vaccinated with at least one dose.
The vaccination coverage of people over the age of 80 who have received at least one dose of the vaccine is the highest in Lääne County 55.3%, Saare County 55.1%, Hiiu County 53.3%, Rapla County 51.9%, Järva County 49%, Pärnu County 46.6%, Jõgeva County 42.3%, Viljandi County 40.8%, Tartu County 33.2%. The vaccination coverage needs to be significantly raised in Ida-Viru County where 5% of the total population and close to 10% of the people over the age of 80 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
From Monday to Saturday, 39,588 vaccinations have been performed as of now, which is 6020 more than the total of last week. Unfortunately, the vaccine volumes arriving in Estonia in the coming week are considerably smaller than expected and thus there are fewer vaccines that can be put into use. There are 14,040 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine arriving in Estonia on Monday, and 2400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arriving on Friday.
The objectives of the COVID-19 vaccination are to protect risk groups for whom the COVID-19 disease might progress more severely if they get infected, prevent and reduce the infections and deaths caused by COVID-19, reduce the burden on the healthcare system and the economy, and ensure the normal functioning of the society.