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A record number of 11,000 vaccines were administered in Estonia yesterday

COVID-19 vaktsineerimine

A total of 11,128 vaccines were administered in Estonia during the course of yesterday, making this the highest number of vaccinations administered in one day thus far. Altogether, more than 122,000 people have protected themselves with at least one dose of the vaccine by now, 50,691 of who have received both vaccine doses. To date, 31 percent of the people over the age of 80 all over Estonia have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

The Minister of Health and Labour, Tanel Kiik, expressed his appreciation for the health sector and healthcare workers who have made great efforts in the current critical situation, so that we could use vaccination to offer protection from COVID-19 to as many people as possible. „Vaccinating people in risk groups will continue at the offices of family doctors, and the vaccination of education workers and the social care workers of local municipalities is also underway at the same time. A pilot in preparation of vaccinating all wishers is also taking place over the weekend, in the course of which 6,000 people over the age of 65 will be able to get vaccinated in different medical institutions across Estonia,“ Minister Tanel Kiik said. „Our goal is to perform at least 40,000 vaccinations in total this week.“

To date, 31% of people over the age of 80 across Estonia have been vaccinated with at least one dose, and in many counties this number is already significantly higher. The highest vaccination coverage of people over the age of 80 who have received at least one dose of the vaccine is in Hiiu County 53.1%, Saare County 51.3%, Lääne County  51.3%, Rapla County 48.3%, Pärnu County 42.7%, Viljandi County 39.4%, Jõgeva County 39.1%, Tartu County 32.7%.

“In order to overcome the current crisis, it is important to prioritise quickly vaccinating those who are the most vulnerable against COVID-19, i.e. people over the age of 80 and those with certain diagnoses and diseases who may suffer very severely from COVID-19 and may need to be hospitalised. The state immunoprophylaxis expert committee’s recommendation to hereinafter use the AstraZeneca vaccine on all adults regardless of their age allows us to also progress quicker with vaccinating people who are 70-79 years old,” added Minister Tanel Kiik.

At the invitation of the Ministry of Social Affairs, the experts in the field of immunisation gathered late last night to discuss further recommendations on using the AstraZeneca vaccine at a period when the European Medicines Agency is evaluating the vaccine’s possible connection to thrombosis. The European Medicines Agency announced last night that the risk assessment of the AstraZeneca vaccine has currently not changed, the benefits of vaccination gained in preventing COVID-19 outweigh the possible risks, and using the vaccine may continue. Based on the assessments of the Estonian State Agency of Medicines and the European Medicines Agency, and the recommendations of experts, vaccinations with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will continue in Estonia.  

“Based on the opinion of the experts, we will continue with the current vaccination plan in Estonia, using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine alongside other vaccines,” Maris Jesse, the head of the state immunoprophylaxis expert committee said. “As a temporary precaution, while the European Medicines Agency is gathering further information and forming a final position, we are following the recommendation of the State Agency of Medicines to postpone vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine for people who have a risk of thrombosis. The recommendation does not pertain to other COVID-19 vaccines.”

Guidelines were drafted for evaluating the risk of thrombosis while using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, and will be distributed to all vaccinators in the coming hours. People who have questions about their vaccination should consult with their vaccinator. All side effects can be reported through the online form on the web page of the State Agency of Medicines.

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.

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