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Tuesday’s papers: HPV vaccine safety, quick loan hunger and toilet passports

A nationwide study says the HPV vaccine is safe, Finns’ appetites for quick loans grow, and restroom request cards offer relief for IBD sufferers.

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'Bathroom passports' help people with medical conditions access customers-only bathrooms in Finland. Image: Yle

A large nation-wide study on the safety of the human papillomavirus vaccine finds no causal link between reported adverse drug reactions and symptoms following the jab, reports national daily Helsingin Sanomat, citing a study in the medical journal Vaccine.

Cervical cancer can be prevented by a human papillomavirus vaccine, which has been part of Finland’s national immunisation programme since 2013. The vaccination is available for 11-12-year-old girls.

Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare is currently looking into also providing the injection for boys through the national immunisation programme. This summer a Tampere University study found that a 45 percent immunisation rate in girls and 20 percent in boys would establish herd immunity against a range of cancers linked to the human papillomavirus.

Rise in online payday loans

Tampere-based newspaper Aamulehti has meanwhile looked into the lucrative business of instant loans, which are often granted via text message and carry higher interest rates and fees than loans issued by traditional lenders.

According to the study quoted in business daily Kauppalehti, a survey of ten payday loan firms found that their lending volumes grew by 50 percent last year. Fast-cash loans have found a customer base in Finland, with demand for quick loans of several thousand euros seeing substantial growth. While no-credit check instant loans are more expensive than traditional loans, Vaasa University finance professor Timo Rothovius does not see a moral dilemma in people with low means arguably paying the most for money.

"I don’t know why people are willing to pay so much for these loans. It would appear some customers don’t comprehend the bigger picture,” he said, adding that ”companies will charge the highest amount of interest permitted and will not lose profits just because customers are clueless.”

Toilet 'passports' for IBD sufferers

Farming sector newspaper Maaseudun tulevaisuus draws attention to restroom request cards available for people managing Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

IBD support association Crohn and Colitis ry is behind the cards dubbed ’bathroom passports’ in Finland. Carita Sinkkonen of the group told Maaseudun Tulevaisuus that Finland is a country of ”locked bathrooms,” and that the cards aim to ease communication of IBD conditions and request access to restricted restrooms when unexpected symptoms arise.

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