More than half of Finnish youth have received their first dose of the corona vaccine.
According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), about 50% of 16 to 19-year-olds have already been vaccinated. In the 20–24 age group, the figure is 56% and in the 25–29 age group 58%.
The percentages of first vaccinations are similar to those of other European countries. However, Finland is lagging behind other EU member states when it comes to administering the second dose of the vaccine, which allows travel with the EU digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate without further testing or quarantine requirements.
There are currently about 3.6 million people who have received the first dose of the vaccine, or about 65% of the total population. But only about 1.7 million people, or about 30% of the total population, have received a second dose of the vaccine. In many European countries, more than half the population already has a full vaccination.
According to THL, it is possible to get the first dose of the vaccine in some municipalities without an appointment. But "the second dose of the vaccine es currently available in all Finnish municipalities by appointment only," explains Anniina Virkku, Medical Specialist from THL.
Nearly 3 months of waiting between doses
The Finnish health agency recommends an interval of 12 weeks (nearly 3 months) between doses, while in most countries the interval is only 3 weeks, as recommended by Pfizer/Biontech, for example.
THL says Finnish municipalities "may reduce this period by a few weeks at their discretion if vaccine availability is good in the area and shortening the dose interval does not delay anyone else’s first dose of the vaccine."
Municipalities will give regional notification if shortening the time between vaccines is possible.