Ministerial working group decides on COVID-19 booster doses
The Ministerial Working Group on Coordinating COVID-19 Response supports the guidance of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, according to which municipalities and wellbeing services counties will offer COVID-19 vaccines purchased by the state to all persons and groups of persons for whom a physician in public or private healthcare (including occupational healthcare) has deemed vaccination justified and for whom vaccination is not contraindicated. The ministerial working group agreed on the matter in its meeting on Wednesday 9 November.
Vaccination will be carried out in accordance with existing vaccination practices.
Vaccination is voluntary and free of charge.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, together with public and private healthcare operators, will draw up guidelines for distributing vaccines and implementing the vaccine rollout. The costs of vaccination will be covered by the State of Finland. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will issue a circular on the matter.
COVID-19 vaccines provide effective protection against severe COVID-19. Vaccination reduces morbidity and, in particular, severe illness from COVID-19, safeguards the capacity of the healthcare system and the availability of services, and makes it possible to keep society open.
COVID-19 exemptions under the Health Insurance Act to continue
The ministerial working group proposes that the temporary amendments made to the Health Insurance Act due to COVID-19 be extended until the end of June 2023. The amendments would apply to Kela reimbursements for COVID-19 tests and vaccination.
The amount of the reimbursement for COVID-19 tests and vaccination would remain unchanged. The reimbursement would be EUR 100 for PCR tests and EUR 36 for antigen tests. The reimbursement for vaccination would be EUR 16.
The temporary legislative amendments made earlier due to the COVID-19 epidemic will remain in force until 31 December 2022. An extension is not proposed for the exemptions to the eligibility requirements for communicable disease allowance.
Taneli Puumalainen, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] (COVID-19 vaccination), and
Liisa Siika-Aho, Director, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] (Health Insurance Act)