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Finnish health authority calls for early COVID-19 boosters for vulnerable populations

The Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) recommended on Thursday an early rollout and two-stage approach to administering booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this coming autumn.

This fall, THL advised booster doses for a range of high-risk groups, including residents of nursing homes, individuals over 80 years old, and those with significant immunodeficiencies, regardless of age. Emphasis is placed on initiating vaccinations promptly upon vaccine arrival in Finland.

Furthermore, the recommendation extends to individuals aged 75 to 79, acknowledging their comparatively lower risk of severe illness but underlining the importance of additional protection.

In line with these recommendations, THL underscores the importance of offering COVID-19 vaccinations concurrently with influenza vaccinations, particularly to individuals aged 65 and above, as well as to those aged 18 and above with underlying conditions that heighten the risk of severe COVID-19.

The overarching objective of these measures is to mitigate the rates of hospitalizations and fatalities attributable to COVID-19.

According to Finnish national broadcaster Yle, last fall, there were 100 deaths in the worst weeks. In total, more than 800 Finns died due to COVID-19 infection in November-December because the elderly received the vaccine too late.

Famagusta Gazette