A customer was vaccinated with the Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 vaccine in Espoo on 23 April 2021. 30-39-year-olds in the Finnish capital region may be able to roll up their sleeves for a vaccination at around Midsummer, reports Helsingin Sanomat. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

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VACCINATIONS against Covid-19 are progressing well in Finland.

Helsingin Sanomat on Monday reported that approximately a third of over 16-year-olds in the country have received at least the first vaccine injection. The vaccination campaigns, it added, have already moved on to 50–55-year-olds in Vantaa and 55–59-year-olds in Espoo. In Helsinki, 55–59-year-olds will be able to book a vaccination as of today.

The pace of vaccinations is expected to remain brisk both in and outside Greater Helsinki, largely due to the steady and large deliveries of the vaccine by Pfizer and Biontech. Finland is presently taking delivery of a total of 300,000 vaccine doses a week, but the pace is set to pick up to over 300,000 in May and to almost 500,000 in June.

“The Pfizer vaccines are arriving at a brisk pace, giving us a boost,” stated Hanna Nohynek, a chief physician at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

“Whenever you’re talking about a biological product, something unexpected can happen,” she reminded. “But right at this moment it’s looking good. We’re confident that we can trust [the forecasts for shipments].”

Finland has adopted the objective of administering at least the first vaccine injection to each willing adult resident by late July. The objective is presently looking quite realistic, according to Nohynek.

Leena Turpeinen, the director of health and substance abuse services at the City of Helsinki, told Helsingin Sanomat that the capital will commence the vaccinations of 40–49-year-olds after mid-May and 30–39-year-olds at Midsummer.

The campaign will not be slowed down by the booster injections, she assured, as the projections take into account the doses needed for the booster injections.

“The variables this far and going forward have been the availability of vaccines, possible new restrictions on vaccine use and possible changes in the vaccination order,” she told in an e-mail to Helsingin Sanomat.

Vantaa has roughly the same timetable for vaccinating 40–49-year-olds and 30–39-year-olds, according to Deputy Mayor Timo Aronkytö.

“If the vaccines are coming in as large shipments as promised, we can vaccinate a five-year age bracket in two weeks,” he revealed. “We’ll need another few weeks with 50-somethings. If we’re lucky, we’ll start with 40-somethings in a month.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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