Wednesday December 08, 2021

THL suggests 3rd vaccine for health, care workers

Published : 25 Nov 2021, 08:41

  DF Report

File Photo: Helsinki-Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS).

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) proposes third vaccine doses six months after a second dose for those caring for patients or clients at risk of severe coronavirus infection, and to other social and health care personnel according to local discretion, said the THL in a press release on Wednesday.

THL and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health are considering if changes in regulations are needed for implementing the proposal.

For those under the age of 60 with a good state of health, two doses offer long-lasting protection against a severe form of the disease, but the protective effect against infections and a milder form of the illness declines.

Mild and even asymptomatic infections among social and health care personnel can lead to a risk of infection for patients at risk of a serious disease. Current research data indicates that three vaccine doses provide better protection, leading to a reduced risk of further infections compared with just two doses.

The carrying capacity of the health care system must also be considered, because even infections with mild symptoms may lead to absenteeism among personnel. Some of these can be averted with the help of vaccines, at least for a few months.

Supplies of coronavirus vaccines are adequate, and third doses can be administered to social and health care professionals and to groups previously defined by THL.

Administering third doses does not currently prevent anyone who is still unvaccinated from getting their first and second dose.

Those who have not yet had their coronavirus vaccinations still benefit from getting them. A vaccination offers the best protection against severe coronavirus disease.

For the rest of the population, evaluation of the need for a third coronavirus vaccination is still under way and is expected to be completed in a couple of weeks. For those under the age of 60, the protection provided by the vaccine against severe coronavirus disease remains excellent.

THL now recommends third coronavirus vaccinations for all over the age of 12 who have severe immune deficiencies, for those women, as well as men over the age of 30 who had their first and second vaccinations more than six months ago with a short interval of less than six weeks, for all those over the age of 60, for those who live in institutions and care homes, and for those in medical at-risk groups 1 and 2.