A young woman received an injection of the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine in Helsinki on 30 June 2021. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

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THE HOSPITAL DISTRICT of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) on Friday announced it has launched a third round of coronavirus vaccinations in an attempt to prevent a batch of 15,000 vaccine doses from expiring.

The decision was made by the hospital district and municipalities represented in the regional coronavirus coordination group on Thursday.

The doses have been administered to people with immunodeficiencies who have been reached in time and to social and health care professionals treating coronavirus patients who received the first two injections at a three-week interval at the beginning of the year.

“Launching a third round of vaccinations before the decree [on vaccinations] enters into force is exceptional, but we concluded that the expiry of vaccines is sufficient grounds for this decision. We have been in contact with and received a verbal permission from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health,” said Jari Petäjä, the chairperson of the coordination group.

HUS on Friday said it has also offered the doses to other municipalities, private health care providers and Finnish Defence Forces. Some of the doses have been sent forward to other municipalities.

The expiration date for the batch of Moderna vaccines is 22 September.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT