A GROWING SHARE of people requiring hospital care because of a coronavirus infection are unvaccinated.

Statistics from the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) reveal that unvaccinated people accounted for over three-quarters (77%) of coronavirus patients admitted to hospital between 11 and 17 October, signalling a 10 percentage point jump from the period between 4 and 10 October.

Helsingin Sanomat has reported based on the statistics that the unvaccinated have a significantly higher risk of hospitalisation from the coronavirus than the vaccinated: the number of hospitalisations per 100,000 people stood last week at 12.7 for the unvaccinated but only at 0.8 for the vaccinated.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Tuesday announced it is recommending a third vaccine injection for a considerable share of the population: all over 60-year-olds, all residents of care and nursing facilities regardless of age and over 12-year-olds with medical conditions exposing them to serious forms of the coronavirus disease.

“Although a large share of the population retain a very good protection against the coronavirus disease for at least six months, the protection appears to decline more rapidly in medical risk groups and the elderly,” said Hanna Nohynek, a chief physician at THL.

“They additionally have a higher risk of to develop a serious coronavirus disease due to their medical condition or age.”

The second booster dose is also recommended for women and over 30-year-old men who received the first two doses within six weeks or less of each other. Such short intervals were used mostly in the vaccinations of risk groups and health care professionals between December 2020 and February 2021. The third dose cannot be received until at least six months after the administration of the second dose.

About 77,000 people have already received a third vaccine dose in Finland, according to Nohynek.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT