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IS: President Niinistö concerned about Finland's Covid situation

Niinistö said he did not understand why stockpiled vaccines were not being used.

President Niinistö is concerned about Finland's Covid situation. Image: Jani Saikko / Yle

President Sauli Niinistö expressed concern about Finland's Covid situation and number of deaths, in a recent interview with the tabloid newspaper Ilta-Sanomat.

According to statistics from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), there have been almost 4,800 reported Covid deaths in the country in total, with an especially sharp uptick this spring.

"The number of people who have died from Covid seems to be enormous, but it's kept quiet. Whereas the situation in Finland was good for two years, it is now very troubling in this respect," Niinistö told IS.

The president said he would also like to see recommendations for fourth doses of Covid vaccine expanded to include younger age groups. He said he knew younger people who would be happy to take it.

"It is difficult for me to understand why we aren't using our vaccines," the president said.

Nearly 90 percent of people living in Finland have received the first and second doses of the Covid vaccine. The third dose has been given to about 65 percent of the population and the fourth to 6.5 percent, according to the THL.

Minister of Family and Social Services Aki Lindén (SDP) agreed with the president in a Thursday tweet. He stated the popular opinion in Finland has too quickly turned into a belief that "Covid is over".

Niinistö, 73, had his own spell with Covid in late April, which saw him hospitalised for nearly two days.

THL currently recommends a fourth dose of the vaccine for, among others, those over 12 who are severely immunocompromised, those over 80 years of age, those living in elderly care homes and those aged 70-79 who are at risk of serious illness.