The Ministry of Social Affairs promised in spring-summer to have a plan for the second wave of the virus. What was that plan once you took office?
I’m forced to admit that I started withy my own plan as I was handed nothing at all. Colleagues helped me get settled.
Immunization is one part of handling the crisis.
I knew what I needed to do and who would be in charge of what by the fourth week of October.
Vaccination is off to an expedient start in the USA, UK and Israel. Estonia decided to rely on European solidarity, while Germany also procured vaccines separately and is busy inoculating the population. Should Estonia have gone down the same path?
It amuses me whenever Estonia is compared to Israel. Europe should be seen as a whole and compared to Australia, for example, that is roughly the same size. First, we need to look at the relative importance of people vaccinated in the total population, consider the number of active cases and people who have recovered and have antibodies. That is how we get something resembling a big picture when comparing countries.
Therefore, Estonia should not try to procure vaccines directly?
We are a small country. Secondly, those with more information also have an advantage. Pfizer has plants in Belgium and Germany, which is why it is only natural these countries learn of free quantities first. However, the first EU shipment delivered exactly 9,750 doses to every member state.
Rapla Hospital allowed 20 doses of the vaccine to go bad over the weekend. What has the Health Board done to avoid such incidents and when could the results of supervision proceedings be in?
The Health Board is notified of all incidents, including this one. All institutions that receive the vaccine and the board can be more vigilant. To err is human on the one hand and a good indication of what can be done better on the other.
Family doctor Madis Veskimägi has criticized the way immunization is organized, saying that his staff of 20 only got an appointment for vaccination 12 days after the campaign started. You said in your reply that he was late putting in his request. How come?
Twenty hospitals, 53 family medicine centers and three ambulance service providers initially got the right to vaccinate medical staff. They plan who shows up and when and order vaccines from the board. If Dr. Veskimägi is not a member of the Estonian Family Medicine Association, perhaps information did not reach him in time.