According to a survey by Yle, some healthcare workers have not received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, despite coming into close contact with the elderly and other high-risk groups on a daily basis.
In hospital districts such as Kymenlaakso and Southwest Finland, certain members of hospital staff—particularly young interns and temporary workers—have reportedly expressed a reluctance to get vaccinated. A few have stated they do not want to get inoculated as they consider it unnecessary.
Additionally, while the overall willingness to get vaccinated remains high, long dose intervals and a slow vaccination pace in some regions have prevented young healthcare workers from receiving their booster shot.
Yle’s survey, which included responses from 13 out of 20 hospital districts in Finland, revealed that a large majority of doctors and nurses have been vaccinated, with 85–95 per cent of hospital staff receiving at least the first dose in most cases.
However, these figures are estimates from chief physicians and nurses, as employers are currently forbidden from asking staff whether they have been inoculated, even at hospitals.
The hospital district of Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital (HUS) reports that 95 per cent of its staff have received the first dose, while approximately two-thirds got the second jab.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) recommends getting both doses of the vaccine, as a single dose only provides 35 per cent protection against the Delta variant, which is highly contagious.
According to Yle, caregivers are required to get the flu vaccine if they are working with vulnerable patients; however, Finland’s Communicable Diseases Act does not obligate healthcare workers to get inoculated against COVID- 19.