Locals who had yet received the first vaccine dose took advantage of a walk-in vaccination service offered at Messukeskus Helsinki on Saturday, 17 July 2021. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

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THE CITY OF HELSINKI on Tuesday announced its residents are able to re-schedule their appointment for the booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine from 12 weeks to at least eight weeks after the first dose.

The appointments can be re-scheduled at koronarokotusaika.fi. The number of available appointments is limited in light of the number of booster-dose recipients, according to the city.

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“It is nevertheless recommended that the booster dose is taken with a 12-week interval. The recommendation is based on the fact that a longer vaccination interval has been shown to enhance the efficacy of vaccines and the duration of the protection,” a spokesperson for the city said in a press release.

Mika Salminen, the head of health security at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), told Helsingin Sanomat on Monday that the vaccination interval cannot be shortened for the entire population given the present availability of vaccines. He added, though, that municipalities are able to deviate from the recommended 12-week interval as long as it does not affect the number of people receiving the first dose.

Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru (SDP) voiced her support for reducing the interval last week, highlighting that many are postponing taking their booster doses due to summer holidays.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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