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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.

It is important to keep in mind that the quantities that arrive in Estonia during the first semester are limited.

Due the limited vaccine quantities, the state began the vaccination with healthcare workers, residents and employees of social care facilities, and people who are in risk groups because of their high age.

The order of vaccination

Vaccinations against COVID-19 will take place in stages. First priority in vaccination is given to people who are in a risk group or who need to be vaccinated first in order to guarantee that the services critical to the functioning of the society are operational.

As soon as the vaccine volumes allow, the state will open up the possibility to get vaccinated to all who wish to do so. According to the prognosis of the current delivery volumes, this will become possible no sooner than in May.

1. I get priority in vaccination if I am in a risk group

The vaccination of people over the age of 80 began in February but due to limited vaccine volumes, not all people over the age of 80 have had the opportunity to get vaccinated yet. The state will move on in stages, offering the possibility to get vaccinated to different groups, one by one.

People who belong to a COVID-19 risk group have been divided into three different risk groups according to 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. Starting from March 22, the people who belong to a risk group can also see the information about their risk group status in the patient portal digilugu.ee.

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).

Older people who belong to a risk group (Group 1 and 2) are contacted by their family doctor by phone to arrange an appointment for receiving a vaccination. Younger people who belong to a risk group are notified about being in a risk group through the patient portal digilugu.ee, starting from March 22.

The state will notify about opening up vaccinations to a particular target group (e.g. all people over the age of 65) through public information channels (e.g. media) as well. In that case, the opportunity to book an appointment to get vaccinated will open in the national digital registry and you can choose which vaccinator is the closest and most convenient to you.

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.

2. I get priority in vaccination if I am a front line or healthcare worker

The goal of vaccinating front line workers as a priority is to guarantee that the services that are critically important for the functioning of the society continue to be operational in the whole country.

By now, most of the healthcare workers, employees of social care facilities, general education and vocational schools, police and rescue workers have been vaccinated. The vaccination of the employees of kindergartens and child care facilities is ongoing.

If you are in these groups then, as a rule, you will be notified of a possibility to get vaccinated by your employer. The order of vaccination, including the time and place, will be arranged through the employer, with the institution administering the vaccinations. The vaccination will take place either at the local hospital, at the place of work, at a family health centre or by agreement with some other healthcare service provider.

Register for a vaccination only if you have a definite wish to get vaccinated. Notify at first chance if you have changed your mind, have already been vaccinated, or cannot go to get vaccinated for some other reason.

Meditsiinitöötaja vaktsineerimine
Photo: Raigo Pajula

3. All residents of Estonia who wish go get vaccinated

The goal is to offer free vaccinations near their homes to all who are willing, from May. When the opportunity to get vaccinated opens up, this, along with the vaccination locations, will be announced on the vaktsineeri.ee web page, and through general information channels and media as well.

When the vaccine quantities arriving in Estonia allow the launch of wider scale vaccinations in Estonia, the people will have the opportunity to register themselves in the national digital registry. If the digital register has no vaccination appointments open for you, it means that the order of vaccination has not reached you yet.

If you wish, you may notify your family doctor that you are ready to come and get vaccinated on short notice, in case someone unexpectedly cancels their appointment.

The view from Tallinn TV Tower
Photo: Tõnu Tunnel

COVID-19 vaccination statistics

All vaccinated
(1 + 2 doses)

259 346

19,52% of the population

Partially vaccinated
(1 dose)

184 527

13,89% of the population

Fully vaccinated
(2 doses)

74 819

5,63% of the population

Last updated: 25. March 2021, 10:54

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