Finland’s COVID-19 vaccination certificate is now available in the My Kanta Pages service. The vaccination certificate contains information on the COVID-19 vaccinations received by the certificate holder and is available after receiving the first dose of vaccine. Initially, many people may have to wait a while before they are able to view their vaccination certificate.
Vaccination coverage among healthcare professionals varies by professional group and area. The number of vaccinated professionals is highest among nurses and practical nurses. However, a higher proportion of doctors have been vaccinated than nurses.
In 2020, 91 cases of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) were reported in Finland, which is an increase of almost one third on 2019, when 69 cases were reported.
In Finland, the vaccinations against the COVID-19 virus were started at the end of December 20201. Based on questionnaires, a clear majority of Finnish people is going to take or has already taken the vaccine and believes in the safety and efficacy the COVID-19 vaccines.
The first preliminary research results on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in Finland have been received. According to the results, vaccination reduced the number of cases of severe COVID-19 requiring hospital treatment by an average of 74% (95% confidence interval 42–88%) in the elderly and 84% (95% confidence interval 34–96%) in those belonging to the risk groups.
How do pandemics come about, how can they be prevented and what have we learnt from the coronavirus pandemic?
A pandemic is a global epidemic that emerges unexpectedly. Pandemics start with a microbe – usually a virus – that originates from somewhere in the animal kingdom and transfers to a human that is in close contact with the animal.
The introduction of a digital vaccination card is making progress. In January, a vaccination section was opened in the My Kanta Pages of the Kanta Service, which is intended to be developed into a comprehensive database of all vaccines received. The database will be a digital vaccination card for citizens, and it is planned to replace paper certificates.
The new corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) causes primarily an acute respiratory infection that is spread as a droplet infection. The clinical picture may vary from almost asymptomatic to severe. Advanced age particularly combined with a basic illness increases the risk of a severe illness and death.
In the Rokotustieto.fi guest blog, Mika Rämet, Director of Tampere University’s Vaccine Research Center, explains the factors that have an impact on establishing a vaccination coverage that is sufficient to achieve herd immunity.
I am often asked how high vaccination coverage should be in order to establish herd immunity. I dodge the question just as often by saying that there is no precise figure to give. The higher the vaccination coverage, the easier it is to suppress an epidemic.
Vaccines to protect against coronavirus are being developed around the world. Development work has proceeded at a record pace and several marketing authorisation reviews are currently being conducted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The first vaccine is expected to receive marketing authorisation in Finland before the end of the year.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started the rolling review procedure on a fourth coronavirus vaccine candidate. The quality, safety and effectiveness of the vaccine are assessed with the same criteria as in the normal marketing authorisation process.
The majority of municipalities started offering influenza vaccinations in the beginning of November. Getting vaccinated is now especially important during the coronavirus pandemic, as the combination of influenza and coronavirus increases the risk of becoming seriously ill.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started the rolling review procedure on two coronavirus vaccine candidates. A rolling review is a tool that can be used to speed up the marketing authorisation process of promising vaccines during a pandemic, for example.
The coronavirus situation has reduced visits to maternity and child health clinics. When the coronavirus-related restrictions came into force, staff in many municipalities were transferred from preventive services for children and families to other tasks. The provision of maternity and child health clinic services was limited to pregnant women and infants.
At the beginning of April, maternity clinic visits had fallen by 27 per cent and child health clinic visits had fallen by 45 per cent from the corresponding period of the previous year.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has approved the inclusion of the HPV vaccine for boys into the National Immunisation Programme. Thus, HPV vaccinations will be given to the entire age group from now on. Vaccinations for boys could begin in August 2020.
According to the Immunisation Programme, HPV vaccinations would start in the 5th grade of comprehensive school, i.e. the recommended target group is 11–12-year-olds. Booster vaccinations should also be offered to boys in grades 7–9 during the 2020–2021 and 2021–2022 school years.
World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April (24 to 30 April) – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Yet, there are still nearly 20 million children in the world today who are not getting the vaccines they need.