The Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) have updated their COVID-19 vaccination recommendations for children under 12 years of age. COVID-19 vaccinations are not recommended for all children but some children may benefit from the vaccine based on individual assessment.
THL recommend for municipalities to offer vaccinations for children aged 6 months to 4 years with underlying conditions, e.g., serious heart or lung diseases or certain neurological diseases, that may predispose them to severe coronavirus disease. In addition, people with severe immune deficiency are at risk. According to the government decree, vaccines can be offered to children 5 years of age and older; therefore, vaccinations of children under 5 years of age cannot start until there is a change in decree.
The vaccination recommendation for children 5 to 11 years of age has also been changed. According to the new recommendation, the basic vaccination series may benefit children with underlying conditions that may predispose them to severe coronavirus disease. According to THL, there are no longer medical reasons to offer vaccinations for everyone aged 5 to 11 years. Due to the currently circulating variant strains and immunization from earlier SARS-CoV-2 infections and earlier doses of vaccine, the risk of severe coronavirus disease for healthy children is very low. However, THL does recommend to complete the vaccination series for this age group that have already been started.
COVID-19 recommendations for children aged 12 to 17 years remain unchanged. THL recommend three doses of COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 17 that belong to a risk group and two doses of vaccine for other children of that age.