Skip to content

Minister: Second Covid boosters in store for younger age groups

Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Aki Lindén says the government is preparing for the next possible coronavirus wave.

Aki Lindén said that he believes age limits for the fourth dose of the Covid vaccine will be lowered by the fall. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

The current wave of omicron variant Covid cases has shown signs of abating with fewer infections and deaths recorded in the past week.

Despite this, social services minister Aki Lindén (SDP) said the Ministry of Family Affairs and Social Services has prepared for possible new waves of the disease in the autumn and winter.

"In all likelihood, in the autumn we will have a Covid variant epidemic," Lindén told Parliament.

Lindén said that he hoped that broad restrictions on daily life would not be necessary, suggesting that widespread use of FFP2 and FFP3 masks are a better alternative.

Earlier this week, a group of experts presented 54 recommendations to the ministry on how to prepare for a potential new wave of the epidemic.

Age limit for vaccines lowered

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has recommended fourth vaccine jabs for those over the age of 80, those who are severely immunocompromised, and people living in elder care facilities.

Lindén predicted that the general age limits for fourth doses of the Covid vaccine will drop by the fall, but awaited expert views on the subject.

Turku University Hospital said on Wednesday it had found a patient with the first omicron BA.5 sub-variant in Finland. The variant is said to be slightly more contagious than previous variants.

Lindén was asked whether the this new variant could pose a threat to the summer tourist season.

"I haven't heard of such myself, but of course we all move around more in the summer and then, of course, diseases also go away. But then again, summer is the best time for Covid. The past two summers were clearly milder than the autumn and winter seasons," replied Lindén.