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Vaccination in Estonia

By vaccinating against COVID-19 we can move towards returning to the regular order of life. Vaccination in Estonia takes place according to the vaccination plan.

General information about vaccination in Estonia

In 2021, vaccination is free for everybody who lives in Estonia, including those who do not have health insurance.

Vaccination is voluntary.

All Estonian people (over the age of twelve) can get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The order of vaccination

All Estonian people (over the age of twelve) can get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Who is included in risk groups and should be vaccinated immediately?

Those people who are included in COVID-19 risk groups are divided into six groups based on their age and health condition.

COVID-19 vaktsineerimine
Photo: Raigo Pajula

The Estonian Health Insurance Board went through the lists of all family doctors to map people who belong in a COVID-19 risk group on the basis of the diseases and conditions determined by the state Immunoprophylaxis Expert Committee. The Health Insurance Board based itself on the diagnosis codes on people’s medical bills and prescriptions for medicines issued in the last five years. The family doctors got to review the lists and correct them, if necessary.

The principles according to which people in a risk group are invited to get vaccinated, as approved by the Immunoprophylaxis Expert Committee and put together by the Estonian Family Doctors’ Association:

  1. All people who are 80 years old or older;
  2. People who are 70 years old or older who have diseases and conditions which put them at a very high or high risk from severe progression of the disease;
  3. People who are 70 years old or older, regardless of comorbidities, and people 16-69 years old who have diseases and conditions which put them at a very high risk from severe progression of the disease;
  4. People who are 60 years old and older who have diseases and conditions which put them at a high risk from severe progression of the disease;
  5. People who are 50-59 years old and older who have diseases and conditions which put them at a high risk from severe progression of the disease;
  6. People who are 16-49 years old or older who have diseases and conditions which put them at a high risk from severe progression of the disease.

At the beginning of July, 2020, the state Immunoprophylaxis Expert Committee determined the diseases and conditions on the basis of which a person should be considered to be in a risk group.

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The following diseases and conditions are considered to have a very high risk from severe progression of the disease:

  • Organ or bone marrow transplantation (performed up to 2 years ago);
  • Primary immunodeficiency;
  • Malignant tumours of lymphoid and hematopoietic tissues (diagnosed up to 5 years ago) or other tumours (diagnosed up to 1 year ago);
  • Cystic fibrosis;
  • Renal insufficiency;
  • Demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system;
  • Dementia;
  • Parkinson disease;
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
  • A stroke in the past year and the residual symptoms of a stroke;
  • People with hematological, rheumatological, gastroenterological and/or neurological diseases who have received immunosuppressive treatments within the past 5 years.

The following diseases or conditions are considered to have a high risk from severe progression of the disease:

  • Diabetes;
  • Cardiovascular diseases;
  • Chronic bronchitis;
  • Emphysema;
  • COPD;
  • Severe asthma (oral corticosteroid treatments within the past 5 years, biological treatments);
  • Bronchiectasis;
  • Obesity (BMI ≥40).

Elderly individuals and anyone who is included in a risk group who has not yet been vaccinated must book their own vaccination time slots via the eBooking system or by calling the central phone number (1247).

If your family health centre also offers the option to book appointments electronically, you will be notified of this possibility in advance. If you wish, you can also let your family doctor know that you are ready to come and get vaccinated on short notice, in case someone has to unexpectedly cancel their appointment.

Everything you should know about the COVID-19 vaccination

Vaccination is free of charge for all people living in Estonia, even without the national health insurance.
  • Vaccination is voluntary.
  • Vaccination is open to all people who are at least 5 years old.
  • Compared to COVID-19 illness, vaccination is safe, and generally, the side effects pass quickly.
  • Booster doses are available only for adults, and the time for a booster jab is 2 months after finishing the vaccination course with the Janssen vaccine, and 3 months after finishing the vaccination course with AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
  • Booster doses for people, who are recovered from COVID-19 are recommended 5 months after their recovery or their last vaccination. 
  • After getting a booster dose, you need to create a new vaccination certificate in digilugu.ee 
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