Monday February 26, 2024

More health workers to be allowed to administer vaccine

Published : 28 Dec 2023, 23:00

Updated : 28 Dec 2023, 23:03

  DF Report
File Photo: Xinhua.

The government has taken an initiative to allow other healthcare professionals to administer vaccine, in addition to doctors and nurses.

The government proposed amendments to the Decree on Vaccinations and the Government Decree on Voluntary COVID-19 Vaccinations in this regard, said the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in a press release on Thursday.

The amendments to the Decrees are circulated for comments on December 22 and comments could be made until February 9, 2024.

Currently, vaccines can only be administered by doctors or by nurses, public health nurses and midwifes who have received vaccination training.

The government aims to accelerate and streamline the administration of vaccines and to alleviate the shortage of healthcare personnel.

The amendments that are being circulated for comments would allow dentists, senior pharmacists, pharmacists, practical nurses and biomedical laboratory scientists to administer vaccines.

However, besides these professional groups, COVID-19 vaccines can already be administered by dentists, biomedical laboratory scientists and practical nurses under certain conditions.

In future, dentists would no longer be required to have separate vaccination training following their degree.

The aim is that, in future, COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations would roll out more effectively each autumn. The healthcare sector does not have enough personnel, which also affects the rollout of vaccinations.

The shortage of resources was notable this autumn, for example, when there was a backlog in COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations. Assigning nurses to help with mass vaccinations also weakens the human resources situation in other parts of the healthcare sector.

“The decree amendments aim to speed up and streamline the administration of vaccines and ease the shortage of healthcare personnel. They will also help prepare for future epidemics,” said Minister of Social Security Sanni Grahn-Laasonen.

The new professional groups that are proposed to be included in legislation would not be allowed to vaccinate people under the age of 18, because vaccinating minors may require special skills.

In future, only doctors and those nurses, public health nurses and midwifes who have received vaccination training could administer COVID-19 vaccines to people under the age of 18.

Pharmacists, senior pharmacists, practical nurses and biomedical laboratory scientists would be required to have additional training in vaccination.

All vaccination activities must have a designated physician who is in charge of the activities, even when vaccines are administered at a healthcare service point operating in connection with a pharmacy. Information on all administered vaccines must be duly recorded in patient information systems.

“We extended the right to administer vaccines already during the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional vaccination training required will ensure that all authorised vaccinators have the necessary skills,” said Director General of the Social Affairs and Health ministry Taneli Puumalainen.