The Finnish government moves tab in a new attempt to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.
Now it is not about restrictions, but about attacking Covid-19 where it is most active, with a vaccination campaign aimed especially at areas where the virus is rampant.
In its meeting on 31 March, the government discussed a proposal by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) that would make changes to the order of priority for Covid-19 vaccination. The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Sanna Marin decided to send it out for consultation as it stands.
According to government information, the proposed changes include altering the vaccine rollout schedule, as it is now.
If the proposal is successful, THL could allocate some of the individual batches of vaccine to same areas in a targeted manner based on the number of people in the hospital district, the incidence (number of Covid-19 infections in the previous 14-day period) and the number of people requiring specialised care.
Most affected regions
Goverment says that targeting would be possible if the incidence of infections in the area is at least 100 per 100,000 inhabitants during the previous 14 days. A condition that, according to THL's data, at the time of writing this article, is met by seven Finnish hospital districts, all in the southern part of the country, where most of the population and cases are concentrated:
- Helsinki-Uusimaa (305.8).
- Southwest Finland (Turku region) (240).
- Kanta-Häme (102.3).
- Pirkanmaa (Tampere and surroundings) (100.2).
- Päijät-Häme (174.6).
- Kymenlaakso (105.9).
- South Karelia (Lappeenranta area) (162.2).
Targeted distribution would only be possible if all people over 70 years of age and all those belonging to risk groups in the area have already received their first dose of the vaccine. In addition, targeted allocation should not prevent a person from receiving their second dose of vaccine in the same vaccination series or delay their second dose.
Dentists, students to administer vaccines
"The decree currently in force does not provide for the regional allocation of vaccine doses," the government says.
The amendment to the vaccination decree would also allow doses to be administered by dentists and by students studying to be healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, public health nurses or midwives) under the guidance and supervision of a professional.
Under the current decree, vaccination injections can only be administered by doctors or by nurses, public health nurses or midwives who have received the appropriate vaccination training.
The round of consultations will last until 13 April. Once the consultation process is finished, the Government will decide.