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APN Podcast: Vaccinating Finland

Finland's vaccine rollout has been slower than hoped, but things might pick up soon.

Photo of vaccine kit featuring Yle News' All Points North Podcast logo
Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

Vaccines are rolling out worldwide as countries look to stop the spread of Covid-19, so this week's All Points North looks at how Finland is managing things.

Hanna Nohynek from THL said that if all goes to plan from here on in, it's possible that most people might be offered a vaccine before the Midsummer holiday.

You can listen to the full podcast via the embedded player here or via Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.

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Audio: Yle

But that's a big if, after the teething problems in recent weeks. She told us that procurement of vaccines is the biggest problem.

"We have received the number of doses that we were expecting to receive of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and there has been a delay in the AstraZeneca adenovirus vaccine permission," said Nohynek.

"They were expecting to receive it at the end of last year and we could roll it out. [But] as you know the European Medicines Agency is discussing it in the fourth week of January."

We also heard from Pirta Hotulainen, who is part of a group of scientists and doctors calling for a so-called 'zero Covid' strategy.

"The new virus variants make a new situation," said Hotulainen. "Because I think we were all just waiting for us all to get vaccinated and then everything would be fine. But now if the new variations are coming to Finland, the threat is that they start to spread very aggressively and in that case we should suppress very aggressively as well, because we could end up in a situation like Ireland is in nowadays, where the new cases are just shooting up. And it's very difficult to control this situation, so we should act before we are in this crisis."

Also in this week's show, we talk about the very cold weather and 'snowmageddon' in the south of Finland, preview local elections coming in April, and offer the usual roundup of the week's top stories.

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This week's show was presented by Egan Richardson and Ndéla Faye. The producer was Mark B. Odom and the audio engineer was Anders Johansson.

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