Saturday 3/6/21
'DELIVERY DIFFICULTIES'

Finland to face shortage of Covid-19 vaccines next week

THL warns that some hospital districts will receive "fewer vaccines than expected next week" and "vaccinations are likely to progress more slowly than originally planned."
13 January 2021, Berlin: A nurse shows a box with the COVID-19 vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer at the Bethel Hospital. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa
A nurse shows a box with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa.

Finnish health authorities, which have been heavily criticized in recent weeks for the slowness of the Covid-19 vaccination process compared to other countries, will face a challenging situation next week, with a likely greater shortage of vaccines.

According to information from the National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL), Finland will receive next Monday, January 18, a shipment "lower than expected" of vaccines against the coronavirus from Pfizer-BioNtech.

According to THL, 43,143 vaccinations administered across the country have been reported to the Finnish National Vaccination Register. The agency also says that there are "several problems" regarding data transfer, so the actual number is probably "significantly higher."

Even so, the numbers are lower than those reported by other countries, for example the United Kingdom (with around 3 million of doses already administered), Israel (1.6 million), Italy (961,000), Germany (842,000), Spain (nearly 700,000), France (318,000 ), Denmark (129,000) or Sweden (79,000).

Delivery difficulties

In a press release, THL warned of next week's shortage of jabs "due to Pfizer's delivery difficulties." Only 37,000 more doses will be available, which is almost 10,000 fewer than expected. Finland aims to receive an average of 50,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine weekly in January-February.

 THL warns that, due to the above mentioned difficulties, some hospital districts will receive "fewer vaccines than expected next week" and "vaccinations are likely to progress more slowly than originally planned."

"This may cause changes in the schedule of vaccinations for the elderly," the health agency said.

Pfizer, the manufacturing company, says the delays are due to a restructuring caused by an increase in production capacity. THL other countries will also receive less doses than expected next week.

Finland receives 1.23% of the vaccines procured by the European Union.

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