The influenza epidemic has not yet begun in Finland, but some individual influenza A and B cases have been reported to the National Infectious Diseases Register. Because the peak period of the flu season usually starts at the beginning of the year, it is best to get vaccinated before the end of the previous year. Influenza viruses change rapidly, so vaccination will only provide protection for one flu season at a time.
THL has acquired 1.7 million VaxigripTetra injections for the national vaccination programme for all age groups and 116,000 Fluenz Tetra nasal spray vaccines for children aged 2 to 6 years. Under the national vaccination programme, the seasonal influenza vaccine is given annually to:
- small children;
- pregnant women;
- over 65-year-olds;
- those at risk because of an illness;
- people in close contact with those who are vulnerable to severe influenza;
- social and health care personnel; and
- those entering national military service.
Other people can get the vaccination at their own expense or through occupational health care paid for by their employer.
Most municipalities start distributing influenza vaccinations in late November or early December.