More than a million Finns are eligible for a free influenza vaccine. The vaccine is free of charge for young children, people aged 65 and up, people suffering from long-term illnesses and pregnant women. Influenza may pose a danger to these groups.
The vaccine is also provided free of charge to the household contacts and carers of people who fit the categories mentioned above. Also eligible for the free vaccine are social and health care professionals, pharmaceutical personnel who work in contact with customers, and conscripts.
The effectiveness of the seasonal vaccine is expected to be high. At its best, the vaccine prevents 5–8 cases out of 10. This year’s vaccine is offered as a nasal spray for two-year-olds. The new vaccine type includes four instead of three strains, which means that it provides more extensive protection than the injectable vaccine.
Vaccinating healthy children is important. Influenza and its sequelae lead to many doctor’s visits, courses of antibiotics and hospitalisations, which children can avoid by getting vaccinated.
Some adults are offered the vaccine via their occupational health care provider, paid for by the employer.
- THL (in Finnish)