More information about the coronavirus and restrictions related to it is available calling 1247 (from abroad +372 600 1247).

Vaccine fears, myths, and facts

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Yes, the vaccines are effective. According to the member of the Scientific Council and the professor of Mathematical Statistics at the University of Tartu, Krista Fischer, a vaccinated person has a 4 times smaller chance of getting infected with the coronavirus than an unvaccinated person.

One of the main objectives of vaccination is to protect against sever forms of the disease -- an unvaccinated person has a more than 8 times bigger chance of getting a severe form if infected with COVID. Thus, in addition to reducing the severity and duration of the disease, vaccination also contributes to stopping the spread of the virus.

Those who have recovered from COVID-19 and gotten vaccinated subsequently have a 20 times smaller chance of getting re-infected. It should be kept in mind that getting the disease includes serious risks. For example, 7% of those infected need hospitalisation, the mortality of people hospitalised is 14%, and permanent health issues occur for many of those who survive.

As of September 21, 2021, 749,256 people had been administered at least one dose of the vaccine, which meant that the vaccine coverage among the adult population was 66.2%. As of September 21, 154 people were receiving hospital care due to COVID-19, 110 of who were unvaccinated. That is, a third of Estonian adults were unvaccinated, but unvaccinated people still made up close to three quarters of those in hospitals.

Last updated: 28.09.2021 17:14

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The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) have not been connected to the creation of thrombi (vascular occlusions). The vaccines currently administered in Estonia are the Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen vaccines.

All signals of danger are regularly analysed by assessing huge data volumes. People who have received the mRNA vaccines do not present with more cases of thrombosis or thrombembolism than those who have not.

It should, however, not be forgotten that people who get COVID-19 have a 16-20 times higher risk of thrombosis than healthy people. The objective of COVID-19 vaccination is preventing severe progression of the disease, i.e. also preventing the occurrence of thrombi during COVID-19.

The marketing authorisation that was issued to COVID-19 was based on a sufficient amount of data. It is also perfectly normal that the clinical studies are ongoing -- this also happens with other medicines.

Last updated: 28.09.2021 17:37

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No. The COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infertility or a drop in fertility.

As the mRNA contained in the vaccine does not come in contact with human DNA, there is no effect on fertility or future children. Animal testing has also been conducted in order to establish whether there is a risk of infertility and there has been no indication that the vaccines have an effect on the ability to reproduce.

Getting COVID-19 can, however, have a negative effect on the fertility of men, as it can cause orchitis (inflammation of testicles) and lower the quality of men's semen.

Last updated: 23.09.2021 16:40

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Yes. The protection that the vaccine offers against getting sick outweighs all the risks related to getting vaccinated, including for women who are planning to get pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding:

  • if a woman who is pregnant gets infected, it increases the risk of both premature labour and the probability that the woman ends up needing intensive care. Vaccination reduces these risks considerably.
  • if a breastfeeding mother is vaccinated, the child will also obtain somewhat of a protection against COVID-19.

There is no biological reason why corona vaccines should be unsafe for pregnant women, foetuses or children who are being breastfed. This is also supported by animal tests in which multiplied vaccine doses administered to rats did not bring about any direct or indirect harm to pregnancy, the development of the foetus, birth or the postnatal period.

The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), where the Society of Estonian Gyneacologists is also a member, supports vaccinating pregnant and breastfeeding mothers against COVID-19, accounting also for the risk of infection, the size of the pregnancy, the health condition of the mother etc.

If you need further counselling to make a COVID-19 vaccination decision, we recommend consulting with your family doctor or calling the Family Doctor's Advice Line 1220 or 634 66 30. The calls are answered by medical professionals 24/7. Advice is given in Estonian and Russian (advice in English every day between 15.00 and 17.00).

Last updated: 22.09.2021 20:11

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No miscarriages related to Astra Zeneca or any other COVID-19 vaccine have been reported to the Estonian Agency of Medicines.

Studies conducted in the world show that the frequency of miscarriages is the same among vaccinated women as it is among unvaccinated women.

Last updated: 23.09.2021 16:18

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No. There is no basis or proof for the myths about different radiations or effect on fertility.

The Estonian Agency of Medicines has received notifications about temporary disruptions to menstrual cycles after using certain coronavirus vaccines. These were probably caused by temporary stress, fever or similar reactions that might occur after vaccination.

Last updated: 23.09.2021 16:41

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No, the vaccines do not contain substances hazardous to humans. All the excipients contained in the vaccines and other medicines have been selected carefully. They are added in the minimal necessary amount. The safety of all excipients has been proven and their suitability in the medicine has been assessed in the course of the procedure for issuing a marketing authorisation.

All the COVID-19 produced with different technologies have shown themselves to be safe. Even though reactions of the injection site (pain, inflammation, redness) and general reactions (fever, chills, feeling unwell, muscle and joint pain, pain and inflammation in the lymph nodes) are quite common, these are not dangerous and serious, and usually pass within a few days.

The only serious side effects that might occur are allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis was a known side effect of vaccination even before the COVID-19 vaccines arrived, and is exactly the reason why it is necessary to stay under observation at the vaccination location for 15 minutes after vaccination. No other serious side effects of COVID-19 have been found.

Last updated: 23.09.2021 16:27

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No. The COVID-19 vaccines used in Estonia do not contain aluminium or other metals.

Some vaccines (e.g. Infanrix that is used against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and hepatitis B) contain minuscule amounts of aluminium to strengthen the immune response. Injecting a large amount of aluminium into the veins would indeed be poisonous to nerve cells but the amount of aluminium used in vaccines very tiny (less than 1 mg per dose) and the vaccines are injected into the muscle, not the vein, which excludes the possibility of poisoning the nerves.

Last updated: 23.09.2021 16:38

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No. The COVID-19 vaccines used in Estonia do not contain human cells.

In the case of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), foetal cells are not used at any stage of vaccine production.

In the case of adenovirus based vaccines (AstraZeneca and Jannsen), one stage of the production uses cells from a human foetus that have been acquired several decades ago and reproduced thousands of times in laboratory conditions since then. The cells themselves do not remain in the final product: the cells are destroyed in the course of the production and the vaccine is cleaned of their residues.

Last updated: 23.09.2021 17:11

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It does not.

As an effect of the COVID-19 vaccines, the cells of our body start producing the spike protein of the coronavirus for a short time. As a result of that, our immune system learns to recognize the virus in case there is an attack.

The mRNA vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna) contain specific instructions (mRNA molecules) from which our cells know to produce the spike protein. The molecules of mRNA itself never reach the cell nucleus where the DNA is located.

The adenovirus based vaccines (AstraZeneca, Janssen) contain more general instructions (DNA molecules), based on which more concrete instructions (mRNA molecules) are constructed in our cell nucleus in order to produce spike protein.

Thus, in the case of adenovirus vaccines, the DNA that codes the coronavirus spike protein and is contained in the vaccine does temporarily enter our cell nucleus. This, however, does not mean that the DNA of the spike protein merges with our DNA. For this the adenovirus lacks the molecular tools and, additionally, the version of the adenovirus contained in the vaccine has been altered so that it can't reproduce in our cells.

Last updated: 11.10.2021 15:40

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This is a myth. The VAERS database contains all notifications that are forwarded there and does not reflect the confirmed side effects of the vaccines or deaths caused by them.

The entries to the database are unchecked and it also contains cases where there is no link between the vaccine or medicine and the reaction.

Last updated: 28.09.2021 17:43

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No, the vaccines do not leave pathogens in the body.

The mRNA and virus vector based vaccines do not contain a pathogen, only the information in the form of DNA or mRNA, necessary for the creation of the antigen on the surface of the virus.

The DNA in the vaccine has been packaged inside some other virus (usually an adenovirus) but there viruses have been rendered unable to procreate. At the same time it is important to know that neither mRNA not DNA packaged inside an adenovirus integrates into our genome. Some viruses can do that (e.g. the HI-virus) but adenoviruses do not.

Last updated: 28.09.2021 17:54

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The fact that the number of deaths in care homes is linked to COVID-19 vaccinations has found no confirmation. There have, however, been several coronavirus outbreaks in care homes, resulting in people losing their lives.

Last updated: 28.09.2021 17:48

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The European Medicines Agency has reviewed the existing data on using Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 and found that it is not sufficient to recommend using Ivermectin. The clinical studies conducted on this topic are small and differ from each other quite substantially, which in turn makes it more difficult to give a clear recommendation. Laboratory studies have shown that Ivermectin hinders the multiplication of COVID-19 but in a much higher concentration than is currently achievable with treatment doses used for humans. Higher doses, in turn, significantly increase the risk of side effects. See also the press release of the European Agency of Medicines.

What kind of a medicine is Ivermectin actually?

Ivermectin is a prescription medicine. It is used both in humans and in animals to treat for different parasites. Orally taken Ivermectin is indicated for treatment of pediculosis, acariasis and other infestations and helminths or parasitic worm diseases, scabies, and the residual effects of infectious and parasitic diseases. The Ivermectin tablets used in humans do not hold a marketing authorisation in Estonia but Ivermectin without a marketing authorisation is allowed to be used for certain diagnoses on the basis of an application from the Estonian Society for Infectious Diseases, i.e. it is possible to get it from the pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor and there is no need for a separate application from a doctor.

Last updated: 21.09.2021 15:32

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More information about the coronavirus and restrictions related to it is available calling 1247 (from abroad +372 600 1247).