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THL praises Finland's vaccine enthusiasm

Vaccine shipments arriving this month will bring first-dose cover to 80 percent of those eligible for the Covid shot.

Sakari Siika-aho (vas) saa ensimmäisen koronarokotteen terveydenhoitaja Maija Tilliltä, Jätkäsaaren rokotuspiste, Helsinki, 19.6.2021.
Maija Tilli giving Sakari Siiha-Aho his first Covid vaccine dose in Helsinki on Saturday. Image: Jari Kovalainen / Yle

Mia Kontio, a vaccine specialist at public health institute THL, said vaccine enthusiasm is rising across all age groups in Finland.

More than 90 percent of people over the age of 60 have received a vaccine dose, and 80 percent of 50 year-olds have also gotten the jab.

"We're approaching a 70-percent vaccination rate among 40 year-olds and around 40 percent for people in their 30s," Kontio said.

With many older adults getting their shots now, there may be some delays to people in their 20s getting the jab.

"If vaccination enthusiasm rises to 90 percent—which would be amazing—it may unfortunately mean that some young people will have to wait until August to get their first injection," Kontio explained.

A 90-percent vaccination rate would be remarkable at a European level, according to Kontio.

A Citizens' Pulse survey in May suggested that 90 percent of people in Finland would "likely" or "quite likely'" get vaccinated. That said, vaccination enthusiasm rose in Finland during the course of the spring.

The THL has said some 800,000 coronavirus vaccine doses are due to arrive in Finland over the next two weeks. These volumes will bring enough shots into the country to cover first doses for 80 percent of people over the age of 16.

Finland is meanwhile planning for third doses of the vaccine, according to Kontio, who said the country is a part of EU procurement efforts to acquire additional doses.

"At the moment it appears that protection against Covid-19 lasts for at least nine months after two doses—perhaps even for a year or more—which is why getting the second shot is so important."

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