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Influenza vaccinations under the National Immunisation Programme have begun


Free influenza vaccinations began across Finland in November. Getting an influenza vaccination is particularly important for people over 65 years of age, pregnant women and those suffering from chronic illnesses. 

The groups that are eligible for a free vaccination:

  • Children under three years of age
  • People over 65 years of age
  • Pregnant women
  • People who are in a risk group due to an illness or treatment
  • Household contacts and carers of people in the vulnerable groups mentioned above
  • People who work in social services, health care and pharmaceutical services
  • Conscripts and women entering voluntary military service

According to Hanna Nohynek, Chief Physician at the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), advanced age, pregnancy and chronic illnesses suppress a person’s immune system. A suppressed immune system, in turn, increases the risk of being taken ill with severe influenza and sequelae, such as pneumonia. It should also be noted that the vaccine’s protective effect is reduced if the person is immunosuppressed. Vaccinating the household contacts and carers of immunosuppressed people provides additional protection.  

Vaccinating people who work in health care and social services is also important for reducing the spread of influenza. Their work exposes them to a high risk of influenza. By getting a vaccination they can also protect their patients, customers, colleagues and family members.

As children are important vectors in the spread of influenza, vaccinating children helps prevent their family members from being taken ill. The vaccine also protects the child from sequelae that can lead to many doctor’s visits, courses of antibiotics and hospitalisations.

Those who are entitled to a free vaccination can receive it at their local health centre. Vaccinations are also administered at hospitals and assisted living facilities and in conjunction with home care visits.

If you are not a member of the groups mentioned above, you can get a vaccine from your occupational health care provider, paid by your employer, at your own expense from a private health care provider, or at your own expense from your local health centre (in this case, first request a prescription from the health centre, then buy the vaccine from a pharmacy and return to the health centre to get vaccinated). School pupils and students can make a vaccination appointment with the school nurse. 


  • THL (in Finnish)
  • THL (in Finnish)