Estonia: Nearly 30% of people over the age of 70 have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least one dose

NordenBladet — As of this morning, 166,163 people in Estonia have been inoculated against COVID-19 with at least one dose of a vaccine, while 57,003 people have received both doses. A total of 223,166 vaccinations have been carried out. To date, 36% of people over 80 and 29% of those over 70 have been vaccinated with at least one dose. 

‘This week saw the continued vaccination of, primarily, people at increased risk from COVID-19 and, to a lesser extent, frontline workers. Although the quantities of vaccines delivered to Estonia were smaller than expected, more than 30,000 vaccinations were carried out over the week. During the past week, vaccination coverage among people over the age of 70 increased significantly,’ said Minister of Health and Labour Tanel Kiik. ‘In order to prevent serious illnesses and deaths from coronavirus and to alleviate the burden on our health care system, it is essential to immunise those who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 due to advanced age or poor health as quickly as possible. This will remain our priority in the coming weeks.’

A total of 31,982 vaccinations have been given so far this week, of which 2,285 were given yesterday. In the week ahead, vaccination of people at increased risk will continue at family physicians’ offices; meanwhile, vaccination of educators, social workers, and strategic frontline workers is also underway. Starting yesterday and lasting until Tuesday, additional vaccinations will be given to people over the age of 70 in Maardu, Loksa, and the Lasnamäe district of Tallinn, which are currently the areas with the highest coronavirus infection rates in Estonia.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), on average 10.3% of the adult population in the European Union is currently vaccinated with at least one dose – 14.1% in Estonia. Estonia has now risen to fourth place in COVID-19 vaccination coverage among EU countries.

In terms of age groups, vaccination coverage is highest among people aged 80 and over, of whom more than a third (36%) across Estonia have received at least one dose of a vaccine. In five counties – Saare County, Hiiu County, Lääne County, Rapla County, and Järva County – more than half of those over 80 years of age have been vaccinated. Over the previous week, vaccination coverage has also increased slightly in Ida-Viru County, where every seventh person over the age of 80 has been vaccinated as of now. Of all persons over the age of 70, 29% have been administered at least one dose of a vaccine, which is 8% more than a week ago.

To date, vaccinations have been performed by a total of 492 health care institutions, including 403 family health centres. More than half of all vaccinations (53%) have been given at family health centres. 33% of vaccinations have been performed at hospitals, 6% by specialist medical care providers, and another 6% by nursing care providers.

Next week, 19,890 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, 10,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine, and 4,800 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to arrive in Estonia. The national expert committee on immunoprophylaxis has issued a recommendation to reserve the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine primarily for vaccination of people over 60 years of age in the coming weeks.

The objectives of COVID-19 vaccination are to protect at-risk groups of the population, who have a higher risk of becoming infected or developing severe illness from COVID-19; to prevent and reduce COVID-19-related illnesses and deaths; to reduce the burden on the health care system and the economy; and to ensure the normal functioning of society.




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