Instead of Christmas, many Europeans are eagerly waiting for December 29th, when pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech are expected to receive approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Moderna also expects to get approval on Jan. 12, ETV’s Daily Affairs Show “Aktuaalne kaamera” reported.
Although there are still no permits, the vaccines are made. “In view of the extraordinary pandemic, there were unusual steps. Production normally starts after the permits have been issued, but this time in parallel so that vaccinations can begin immediately after the permits have been issued,” said Kristin Raudsepp, head of the Estonian Medicines Agency.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have announced that their vaccines are over 90 percent effective. Raudsepp said the efficiencies are initially based on press releases but there is reason to hope they are good.
“As far as we know today, immunity develops after the second injection, which means that the first injection did not give people complete immunity in studies, but the second, so we can count on it to happen in a month.” said Raudsepp.
The older a person gets, the more difficult it becomes to develop immunity, and therefore a few months ago there were still uncertainties about the effectiveness of vaccines for the elderly.
“As far as I know, it seems to be suitable for me. I cannot provide any more detailed information at the moment, but vaccinating the elderly was certainly a principle that pharmaceutical companies have been investigating. There is enough information about it,” explained Raudsepp.
Welfare Minister Tanel Kiik (center) said the original plan was to vaccinate health workers, home residents, people with chronic diseases and people over 70 years of age.
“There could be enough vaccines for around 100,000 Estonians coming to Estonia in the first quarter of 2021,” said Kiik.
The larger quantities should reach Estonia in the spring and summer, after other pharmaceutical manufacturers like AstraZeneca have received permits. Estonia has ordered a large number of vaccines from the company.
“We don’t currently have any data that shows how long immunity lasts, that’s the most important part,” said Kiik.
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