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Friday's papers: Vaccine rollout criticism, blood thinners and mutation mystery

Domestic news outlets cover Covid news from vaccine deliveries to lifesaving therapies.

Sote-henkilöstölle annettiin koronavirusrokotteita Helsingissä 4. tammikuuta 2021.
Finland has vaccinated some 8,000 people so far. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

Tensions are mounting over the slow rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in Finland.

Family Affairs and Social Services Minister Krista Kiuru told Ilta-Sanomat she has complained about sluggish vaccine logistics to EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides.

By now Finland had expected to receive close to a million shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, instead of the tens of thousands of doses delivered by the EU so far, according to the tabloid.

"We’re not very happy to be in a situation where we’ve placed big orders that haven’t been delivered as promised. The EU has said that Pfizer/BioNTech will attempt to ramp up their delivery and production to a level that would meet the EU’s demands, but time keeps running," she said.

THL said on Thursday that some 8,155 people have received a coronavirus shot. Finland currently has around 50,000 doses of the vaccine in the country.

In total, Finland has ordered 6.6 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine through the EU’s coordinated vaccination programme.

HUS turns to blood thinners

Helsinki University Hospital District (HUS) is now prescribing anticoagulants for all Covid patients over the age of 40 who are bedridden at home, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The new blood thinning protocol came into effect this week in Helsinki while the cities of Espoo and Vantaa implemented the new treatment guidelines during Christmas week.

Hospitalised patients have taken heparin since the spring, as antithrombotic therapy has in some cases shown to halve mortality from the virus.

Mutation mystery

Iltalehti meanwhile reports that Finnish coronavirus tests cannot detect different strains of coronavirus, such as the one circulating in the United Kingdom.

Evolutionary biologist Tuomas Aivelo told the paper that technicians must perform additional sequencing on the samples to detect any mutated strains.

PCR tests in the UK are immediately able to discern mutations in positive samples, according to IL.

On Thursday, public health institute THL said that a separate analysis by Helsinki hospital district's laboratory services department, HUSLAB, did not detect any mutations in a batch of 611 positive Covid samples collected by HUS between June and December.

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