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MSAH and THL informs
Numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospital patients rising, with majority being unvaccinated

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
7.10.2021 10.00 | Published in English on 7.10.2021 at 12.58
Press release 286

On 6 October, 84 per cent of the target population for COVID-19 vaccination in Finland, i.e. people who are 12 years of age or over, had received at least one vaccine dose and 72 per cent had received two doses. According to the current estimate, it is possible to achieve 80 per cent vaccination coverage by the end of October, if the increase in the vaccine uptake does not slow down.

More than 87 per cent of people aged over 60 have already received two vaccine doses. The uptake rate for both doses is 83 per cent among people aged 50–59 and 76 per cent among people aged 40–49. Over the past week, the uptake of the first vaccine dose has grown the most among people aged 12–15 (1 percentage point, up from 68 per cent to 69 per cent). The uptake of the second dose has grown the most among people aged 12–15 and 16–19 (8 percentage points in both age groups, the uptake rate being 15 per cent for 12–15-year-olds and 47 per cent for 16–19-year-olds).  

Over the last two-week period, unvaccinated people between the ages of 12 to 79 who have COVID-19 have received hospital care 14 times more often than those in the same age group who have been vaccinated twice. The burden on hospital care is increasing in several hospital districts.
The most important thing now is to work towards achieving the highest possible level of vaccine uptake and to promote health security practices at the local and regional levels. The local and regional epidemiological situations may also require that guidance by information be provided comprehensively and decisions on restrictions be made separately for each municipality or for an area larger than an individual municipality.  

74 per cent of those hospitalised in September were unvaccinated

Over the past six weeks, the weekly numbers of new COVID-19 patients in specialised healthcare have varied between 60 and 81. Last week, there were 69 new inpatients in specialised healthcare and 22 new inpatients in intensive care. At the end of last week, the total number of inpatients in specialised healthcare was 105, with 33 of them being inpatients in intensive care. The figures for the week before were 56 inpatients in specialised healthcare and 25 inpatients in intensive care.  

The risk of hospitalisation has been highest among unvaccinated people aged 50−79. The risk is 18 times higher for them than for those in the same age group who have been vaccinated twice. A total of 74 per cent of those hospitalised in September due to COVID-19 were unvaccinated. In order to prevent more serious cases of COVID-19 and to reduce the need for hospital care, the vaccine uptake would have to increase and the number of new cases fall substantially.

COVID-19 cases on the rise again

There has been an alarming increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Finland, particularly among unvaccinated people. The incidence of new cases over the last two-week period (20 September–3 October) was 123 per 100,000 inhabitants. This is 15 per cent more than in the preceding two-week period when the incidence of cases was 107 per 100,000 inhabitants. The weekly number of new COVID-19 cases has grown by over 800 compared to the previous week. The total number of new cases reported between 27 September and 3 October was thus 3,826 whereas a week before the number was 3,008. On 6 October 2021, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths reported to the communicable diseases register was 1,089.  

Because of the amended guidelines, the number of COVID-19 tests has continued to fall. The number of tests carried out between 27 September and 3 October was about 10 per cent lower than the week before. Lower testing volumes and more accurate targeting of testing are reflected as an increase in the percentage of positive cases. Last week, the proportion of positive cases of all samples was 4.9 per cent. The figure has increased compared to the previous week when it was 3.5 per cent. A clear increase in the percentage of positive samples means that more cases have been reported among the population.

The epidemiological situation is monitored weekly. The monitoring report of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare is published on the Institute’s webpage ‘Monitoring reports on the hybrid strategy’ on Thursday afternoons.

Inquiries:

Mia Kontio, Chief Specialist, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected]
Pasi Pohjola, Director, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
Mika Salminen, Director, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected]
Otto Helve, Chief Physician, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected]
 

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