THL proposes Covid booster jabs for healthcare staff

Finland is currently offering booster shots to those in risk groups.

A nurse administers Covid vaccine. Stock photo. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is recommending that anyone taking care of people at risk of a serious Covid infection should get a third dose of Covid vaccine.

In addition, THL says that local authorities should consider giving booster shots to other care staff to try and ensure services can withstand high demand this winter.

THL and the Ministry for Social Affairs and Health are considering whether changes to Covid vaccination guidance are needed.

The idea of third jabs for healthcare workers is to protect at-risk patients, according to THL.

"Mild or asymptomatic infections among healthcare staff could cause a risk of infections among patients at risk of serious Covid infections that they care for," said THL in a press release.

From the perspective of managing care providers' ability to handle their workload, it is important to prevent even mild infections if possible, as they cause staff absences.

Finland has sufficient stocks

THL says that Finland has enough supplies of Covid vaccine, and that booster jabs can be offered to health and social care staff without endangering the broader vaccine rollout.

At present booster shots are being administered to the elderly and those in at-risk groups.

"If Covid vaccines have not yet been taken, it still makes sense to get them," said the THL statement. "The vaccine is the best protection against serious illness from Covid."

The question of whether to offer booster shots to the rest of the population remains open, and THL says it will form a view on that within the next couple of weeks.