Government adopts resolution on Finland’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy
On Thursday 10 December, the Government adopted a resolution on Finland’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy, the key content of which was outlined in negotiations last week.
Finland’s objective is to protect the entire population once an authorised vaccine is available. The vaccines will be offered free of charge to anyone who wishes to be vaccinated. Vaccination of children will become topical once the target group studies are complete.
The evidence-based vaccine strategy has been prepared by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on medical grounds and in consultation with national experts. The strategy defines the main principles for prioritising COVID-19 vaccination in Finland.
Vaccination will be offered based on a medical risk assessment. In the initial phase, the vaccine will be offered to healthcare and social welfare workers caring for COVID-19 patients and to care home workers, elderly persons and persons at high risk for severe disease due to underlying health conditions.
Finland is taking part in the European Union’s joint vaccine procurement, which guarantees access to COVID-19 vaccines from several manufacturers. The European Commission has negotiated agreements on six different COVID-19 vaccines. Finland is a party to all six agreements.
The practical arrangements for vaccination must take into account the possibility that a COVID-19 vaccine will not be available to everyone at once. According to an estimate by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the first vaccines will arrive in Finland at the beginning of 2021. Once they have arrived, the vaccination process will begin as soon as possible.
The practical arrangements for vaccination will be coordinated by hospital districts. Municipalities are responsible for organising vaccination in their areas. Municipalities can cooperate with other municipalities, with occupational healthcare and private service providers, and with the hospital districts in their areas.
The final decisions on vaccination cannot be made until the vaccines have been authorised and are available. The Government will decide on the implementation of vaccinations by adopting a Decree in accordance with the Communicable Diseases Act once the vaccines to be used have been confirmed.
Inquiries: Timo Lankinen, Permanent State Under-Secretary, tel. +358 295 160 300, Prime Minister’s Office; Kirsi Varhila, Permanent Secretary, [email protected] and Tuija Kumpulainen, Director General, [email protected], Ministry of Social Affairs and Health