08. Feb 2021
The Health Board has concluded a framework contract with Magnum Logistics OÜ and Tamro Eesti OÜ in order to ensure that all doses of COVID-19 vaccines which arrive in Estonia are distributed as soon as possible to providers of healthcare services.
According to Üllar Lanno, director general of the Health Board, the Health Board will be able to use the assistance of big, experienced companies when it comes to storing, picking and packing, and delivering COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine accessories in the future, when the volume of vaccines that are available will increase rapidly. ‘As we are expecting increasingly larger vaccine deliveries from new pharmaceutical companies in forthcoming months, this will ensure that the vaccination process will be as smooth as possible,’ he added.
‘It is extremely important for Estonia that vaccine shipments that are received are able to reach all our people as soon as possible, no matter where in Estonia they may live. Rapid vaccination against coronavirus is the only way to be able to return to the normal organisation of life at the national level. From this perspective it can be seen that this is a great responsibility but, being aware of our levels of capability, preparedness, and the full commitment of our people, I am sure that we will manage,’ said Mari Krass, pharmacist and board member at Magnum.
According to Tanel Kuusmann, executive manager of Tamro Estonia, it is the duty and responsibility of Tamro to ensure the availability to everyone in Estonia of all of the required medicinal products and other health products. ‘We had already expressed our preparedness to serve as a partner in the quick and efficient transportation of coronavirus vaccines to the Ministry of Social Affairs, as well as to the Health Board,’ he said. ‘Organising the vaccination process is extremely important for the entirety of Estonia, and we are prepared to take responsibility in order to ensure vaccine deliveries to family health centres, as well as to other potential vaccination sites,’ added Kuusmann.
Based on the Estonian COVID-19 vaccination plan, vaccination will first be provided to the employees of healthcare institutions and care homes who are required to be able to ensure the continuity of those institutions, and also to care home residents and those individuals who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their age. Family health centres are currently vaccinating at-risk individuals. In the beginning of February, the vaccination will also commence of frontline workers who are employed in the fields of social care, education, and law enforcement. As soon as Estonia receives a sufficient number of doses of the vaccine, vaccination against COVID-19 will be made available to everyone in Estonia.
The joint vaccine portfolio of the European Union includes the vaccines of eight vaccine manufacturers in total (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, CureVac, Sanofi, Novavax, and Valneva). So far, Estonia has joined five preliminary purchase contracts within the framework of the EU COVID-19 joint procurement for vaccines, these being the preliminary purchase contracts with Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, and CureVac. In principle, a decision has also been reached to join contracts which have been concluded with the vaccine manufacturers Novavax and Valneva. In total, it is possible for Estonia to be able to obtain a total of 4,558,810 doses of vaccine for 2,429,405 individuals.
The purposes of COVID-19 vaccination are to protect risk groups who are likelier to be infected or who may suffer more severe COVID-19 symptoms in the event of their falling ill, to prevent COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-related deaths, to reduce the numbers of such cases and deaths, to alleviate the load on the healthcare system and on the economy, and to enable the normal functioning of society.