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Monday's papers: Finland's vaccine strategy, MP's racist tweet and cough shaming

A Finns Party MP faces backlash after criticising the religious dress of a hijab-wearing teacher on social media.

En hälsovårdare vaccinerar en kvinna genom att lägga en spruta i ena armen.
Different vaccines will be procured for different age and risk groups in Finland. Image: Sofi Nordmyr / Yle
Yle News

Finland's coronavirus vaccine strategy is to procure different vaccines for different age and risk groups, tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports on Monday.

This will also affect the order in which the groups are vaccinated — children will likely be vaccinated later than other groups, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health director Päivi Sillanaukee told IS.

Vaccine research is currently being conducted in working-age people, so more data is needed on children and the elderly before a decision can be made to vaccinate them, Sillanaukee said.

The ministry official said the vaccination schedule in Finland will significantly depend on the availability of the vaccine, which will be released in batches to different countries.

"My assessment at this stage is that we in the EU and Finland would be able to vaccinate the population next spring. If the research progresses optimally, perhaps as early as the end of the year," Sillanaukee said.

Finns Party MP deletes offensive tweet

Finns Party MP Veikko Vallin caused a social media stir over the weekend after tweeting a picture of daycare children minded by a hijab-wearing staff member.

Tabloid Iltalehti reported that he called the teacher's clothing "inappropriate" for the profession. The MP told IL that he posted the picture because the outfit worn by the teacher was "radical-looking". He refused to reveal whether he took the photo himself.

After facing a social media backlash, Vallin took down the tweet saying his only mistake was forgetting to blur the faces of the people identified in the image. He said he still stands by his critical view of the clothing.

Judged for coughing

Finland has not seen much talk of public or online shaming when it comes to coronavirus, but attitudes may be shifting if Helsingin Sanomat’s most-read story — a letter from a reader — on Monday morning is anything to go by.

A woman writes how she felt pressured to get off the metro before her stop after failing to suppress a tickle in her throat. The more she attempted to quietly cough into her mask, the worse the stares got, she told HS.

Airport Covid-19 sniffer dogs

Tampere-based daily Aamulehti says trained sniffer dogs will soon begin seeking out coronavirus at Helsinki Airport.

Sixteen dogs in Vantaa are undergoing training before taking up their posts at the arrivals hall. The dogs’ job will be to sniff samples suspected to be positive for coronavirus.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki previously said they had successfully gotten trained dogs to identify urine samples from coronavirus patients.

Death of a war veteran

Readers of Swedish-language HBL have taken interest in a story about one of the last remaining Swedish Volunteer Corps veterans of the Winter War passing away at age 100.

While officially non-belligerent during the war, some 9,500 Swedish volunteers took part in battles.

"In school we learned that Russians were the enemy and we had to help Finland," said Bengt Essén told HBL in 2016 when he was invited to Finland's Independence Day Gala.

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