COVID-19 vaccinations have progressed to nursing homes in the majority of Finland - effective practices in place for extensive vaccinations

Publication date 14 Jan 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations have progressed to larger vaccination groups, and vaccinations have begun in more locations. This week, the majority of regions have started vaccinations in elderly care homes.
"Personnel in intensive care units and other social and health care professionals in the first target groups have now been vaccinated comprehensively. This week, most catchment areas have moved on to nursing homes, where vaccinations are given to both residents and staff,” says Mia Kontio, Chief Specialist at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

The COVID-19 vaccination rate in Finland has increased slightly in recent days. At the moment, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare estimates that 45,000 vaccine doses have been administered, compared with 20,000 on Friday. Due to data transfer problems in patient record systems, some vaccinations are not yet included in the statistics. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare is continuously developing the reporting of vaccination data together with regions and occupational health care.

The availability of vaccines is the most significant factor affecting the vaccination rate. At present, Pfizer's mRNA vaccine is in use in Finland, and Moderna vaccines are expected to arrive in the next few days. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will process Astra-Zeneca's application for marketing authorisation for the adenovirus vector vaccine in the week beginning 25 January. The potential marketing authorisation is expected to significantly increase the number of COVID-19 vaccines available.

Sufficient resources must be reserved for vaccination of the population

Finland is preparing for the rapid vaccination of its population when enough vaccines are available in the country. There are effective practices for extensive vaccinating already in place. Over 1.5 million people have been vaccinated against influenza in a few months each year.

Many municipalities have also planned to implement extensive vaccinations in new ways, such as through mass vaccination centres set up in large public spaces, where several people can be vaccinated simultaneously. In Tampere, for example, COVID-19 vaccinations of the population will be arranged through a multi-lane vaccination line. In Lappeenranta, the aim is to carry out vaccinations in a shopping centre for easy access.

"In a pandemic situation, it is important to reserve enough vaccine providers, facilities and other resources for the vaccination of the population so that vaccines can be administered to large numbers of people and flexibly also outside office hours," says Mia Kontio.

Vaccination order to be specified

The National Advisory Committee on Vaccines (KRAR) appointed by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare met on Tuesday to discuss the refining of the vaccination order as vaccinations proceed. The committee was to discuss vaccinations of social and health care personnel and COVID-19 risk groups, in particular.

"It is important to get older people vaccinated quickly because their risk of contracting severe COVID-19 disease is higher. The recommendations will be specified when more information is available on the quantities of vaccines to be received,” says KRAR Chairman Ville Peltola

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare recommends that vaccinations of the next group in the order of vaccination begin once a large part of the previous group has been vaccinated. This will help to avoid delays and vaccine wastage.

Further information:

Mia Kontio
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
Chief Specialist

Ville Peltola
Turku University Hospital
Professor, Chairman of KRAR

Infektiotaudit ja rokotukset Main site koronavirus_en - thlfi-en