Main documents: Finland is in no hurry to introduce Covid boosters

Finland is in no hurry to widely introduce the third booster dose of Covid, as two injections already protect the majority of the population from serious complications caused by the virus.

This is the opinion of the chief physician To Hanna Nohy From the Department of Health and Welfare (THL) and Sally Leskinen, Chief Physician of Kanta-Häme Hospital District.

About a week ago, health care workers across the country met the government’s goal of vaccinating 80 percent of those over 12 years of age.

Widow said it was more important at this point that children aged 5-11 get vaccinated, and noted that the infections also affect schools and kindergartens.

He said in Yle’s A-studio program on Tuesday night that even if adults get two or three injections, because of unvaccinated young people, infections are still possible at home.

The National Vaccine Advisory Committee (Krar) is considering vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 at the beginning of next month. Nohynek, who also participated in the current affairs program, says Krar is working hard to gather information about children’s illnesses, infections, and the spread of infections.

However, Nohynek stressed that the safety of the vaccine for this age group must be ensured before it is released.

The story continues after the picture

To Hanna NohyJari Kovalainen / General

"The vaccine should also be of sufficient benefit to the child in relation to the possible harm it may cause," he said.

In some Asian countries and the United States, children have already received the Covid vaccine, but the dissemination of measures to prevent young people in Finland depends on the recommendations and marketing authorization of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Nohynek: The basic interest bias in the game

To date, approximately 4.2 million people in Finland have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. About 28,000 of them had received the virus after receiving either the first or second dose. However, the authorities expected this because no vaccine offers 100% protection.

In a separate interview, Nohynek told Yle that there are several reasons why vaccinees are getting more and more from the coronavirus.

"One is that the vaccine is effective against infections and mild [Covid] cases are almost halved after six months. Those who become infected and develop mild symptoms despite vaccination are due to a reduction in protective antibodies over time," Nohynek explained.

"Those who become seriously ill [from a coronavirus infection] and end up in the hospital, they often have some underlying disease. Their ability to protect themselves with vaccines is not as good as in younger, healthier people. In these cases, exacerbation of the underlying disease due to coronavirus infection is the reason for hospitalization," he said.

"The third reason is that the more people are vaccinated, the more likely it is that there will be breakthroughs among those vaccinated." Nohynek explained and pointed out that the term for this phenomenon is known as statistical "base rate bias," similar to the false positive paradox.

As for the duration of protection for the double-dose population, Nohynek said it largely depends on the time interval between the two doses.

Efficacy of a double dose

"Canadians have done good research on the subject. Their study compared the effectiveness of doses given at different intervals, and comparisons were made every 3-4 weeks, 6-7 weeks, 8-9 weeks, and so on." he said.

"The results showed that the vaccine provided 90% protection against serious complications for up to eight months in humans given doses at least every 12 weeks. We do not yet know how long this level of protection will be maintained," Nohynek said.

The Finnish health authorities have not yet made a decision to give a third dose of the booster vaccine to people under the age of 60, but according to the chief doctor, there are indications of the benefits of the third vaccine.

"The results of the Israeli survey look good. After the third vaccination, it was found that human antibody responses multiplied and the effect of the vaccine increased protection against hospital and intensive care and death. The number of infections also decreased significantly. But how long their power will remain at a good level is not yet known," he said.

Source: The Nordic Page


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