The vaccination coverage of immigrants varies depending on where they come from. Some immigrants are entitled to receive vaccinations free of charge according to the Finnish vaccination program. The assessment of vaccination needs and the initiation of vaccinations should be done as soon as possible after arrival in the country.
Page published 30.04.2018 | Page edited 23.11.2023
- Vaccinations according to the vaccination program are offered to children and expectant mothers who apply for asylum or temporary protection, foreign students who use student health care, quota refugees, those who have received asylum or a residence permit, and other permanent immigrants such as adopted children. In addition, vaccines for risk groups are offered to those who belong to medical risk groups.
- If there are deficiencies in the immigrant’s vaccinations, the vaccinations are supplemented according to the Finnish vaccination program. If the immigrant has not received vaccinations or there is no information about them, the vaccination protection is built from scratch with an accelerated schedule.
- The immigrant may also need vaccinations outside the national vaccination program based on the disease situation in the country of origin. These include, for example, tuberculosis and hepatitis B vaccinations.
- Tuberculosis ie. BCG vaccination is offered to children under 7 years of age who come from a high tuberculosis incidence country. In addition, it is recommended for all children under 7 years of age who have not previously received a BCG vaccination and have arrived in Finland from a refugee camp or possibly smuggled as an asylum seeker or live in a reception center or a minor unit.
- Adult asylum seekers are offered vaccinations that are necessary for the protection of individuals and populations. Every asylum seeker should have protection against at least diphtheria, polio and measles.
- It is also important that protection against coronavirus is in order. Influenza vaccine is also offered to asylum seekers living in reception centers.
- Polio vaccination coverage is checked and supplemented if necessary for all arrivals from high polio risk countries who have stayed in a polio risk country for at least 4 weeks. They are offered polio vaccination if more than 12 months have elapsed since the last vaccination. The polio protection of those living with arrivals from high polio risk countries should also be checked.
- Information on the vaccination programs of European countries can be found on the website of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). In addition, the World Health Organization WHO maintains a country-specific list of vaccination programs. However, not all immigrants have received basic vaccinations. If there is no certainty about vaccinations, it is better to vaccinate than not to vaccinate. The immigrant may also have received necessary vaccines in their country of origin that are not part of the vaccination program in Finland. These vaccines may not need to be continued, but if desired, the immigrant can buy these vaccines from a pharmacy with a prescription.
- THL, Vaccination: Vaccinations for immigrants
- THL, Vaccination: Prevention of infectious diseases among asylum seekers