THL recommends a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for young people aged 12–17 who are in the high-risk group

Publication date 8 Mar 2022

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) recommends that a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine is administered to people aged 12–17 who are at risk of severe coronavirus disease, as previously defined, when at least six months have passed since the second dose. Those aged 12 or over with severely weakened immune defence have already been instructed to take booster doses. 

In addition, THL recommends that the possibility of third vaccine doses is offered to persons aged 12–17 not at risk groups when at least six months has passed since the second vaccine dose, if this is necessary for reasons other than medical reasons, such as travel.

In children and young people, severe coronavirus disease is very rare and the protective effect of two vaccine doses has remained good against serious forms of disease. However, underlying diseases also increase the risk of children and young people developing serious coronavirus disease.
“The disease burden for children and young people has been low throughout the epidemic and has remained low as the Omicron became a mainstream virus. However, the third vaccine dose enhances protection against the coronavirus disease caused by Omicron,” says Hanna Nohynek, Chief Physician at THL. 

THL’s recommendation is based on the report of a subcommittee of the National Advisory Committee on Vaccines (KRAR) and the statement for children's vaccinations drafted by KRAR. 

COVID-19 vaccinations are organised by the municipalities

On 25 February 2022, the European Commission, on a recommendation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), granted the Biontech-Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine a marketing authorisation for third vaccine doses for people aged 12-17. 

Municipalities organise vaccinations and will specify where and when COVID-19 vaccines can be obtained. Municipalities will inform residents according to their own timetable when COVID-19 vaccines are available and people aged 12-17 can book an appointment for the booster dose. COVID-19 vaccinations for children and young people are organised, for example, in school health care and at vaccination points where the rest of the population is also vaccinated. 

Further information

Anniina Virkku
Medical Specialist
[email protected]

Hanna Nohynek
Chief Physician
[email protected]

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