More coronavirus vaccines administered than last winter – no booster dose needed for those who contracted coronavirus in the autumn or winter

Publication date 12.1.2024 8.30 | Published in English on 15.1.2024 at 11.11
Press release

The coronavirus vaccination round, which started in autumn 2023, has made good progress in the wellbeing services counties. More than 905,000 booster doses have already been administered during the autumn and winter, which is more than a year ago. In reality, the number may be even higher due to delays in data transmission.

Around 16 per cent of the total population has received a coronavirus booster dose. Of 65–79-year-olds, more than 54 per cent has received a booster dose and that figure is 60 per cent for those over 80. 

“Vaccinations started a little later than in autumn 2022, but already by mid-November we had achieved vaccination coverages similar to the previous year. At the turn of the year, coronavirus vaccination coverage was already higher than a year ago,” says Chief Specialist Mia Kontio

In many wellbeing services counties, the vaccination coverage of people aged 80 and over is more than 10 percentage point higher than the previous season. In Central Ostrobothnia, for example, coverage is almost 20 percentage points higher. 

“This autumn it has been longer since the last booster vaccination than it was a year ago. This, combined with the coronavirus wave in early autumn, may help explain why there has been greater interest in coronavirus vaccination," says Kontio. 

Although many vaccinations have been taken, there are still some that have not been used. Sufficient vaccines will also be stored in case the clinical picture of the disease or the pathogen changes and the size of the risk groups increases as a result. There have been no changes this autumn. 

Coronavirus infection strengthens protection at least as well as the vaccine 

THL recommends a coronavirus vaccine booster dose for all those aged 65 and over, those in medical high-risk groups aged 18 and over, and those aged 12 and over with severe immunodeficiency. 

Coronavirus vaccinations will continue in the wellbeing services counties. Variant-tailored Comirnaty and Nuvaxovid XBB1.5 are being used as vaccines. 

If you have not yet been vaccinated, you can seek vaccination in your own wellbeing services county. If you know that you have been infected with coronavirus during the autumn or winter of 2023–2024, you do not need a booster dose.  

“Coronavirus infection boosts protection against serious disease at least as well as a vaccine. Vaccination is not thought to provide additional protection after infection,” says Research Manager Merit Melin

Epidemic subsiding but virus still circulating 

The autumn coronavirus epidemic is subsiding in Finland, but the virus continues to circulate in the population. The most significant viral variants this winter are XBB subvariant EG.5 and BA.2.86 subvariant JN.1. The protection provided by current vaccines against these virus variants is the same as against earlier variants of the XBB virus.  

THL monitors the coronavirus situation in Finland and globally. A World Health Organization (WHO) expert body concluded in December that there is currently no reason to change the composition of existing coronavirus vaccines. Current vaccines provide good protection against severe coronavirus disease caused by the variants currently circulating.

More information

Vaccines and coronavirus (THL) 

Covid vaccination coverage by season and week (THL) 

Covid vaccination coverage by area (THL) 
Mia Kontio (vaccination coverage)
Chief Specialist
tel. +358 29 524 8365
[email protected]  

Hanna Nohynek (vaccinations)
Chief Physician
tel. +358 29 524 8246
[email protected]  

Merit Melin 
Research Manager 
tel. +358 29 524 8903
[email protected]  

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