4th COVID vaccine dose recommended for 80+
Finland on Thursday recommended a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose for people over 80 and those living in care homes, reported Xinhua.
Hanna Nohynek, an executive physician at the Institute for Health and Welfare, told a press conference that the threshold of 80 had been chosen as the third dose "the third dose "was established to give enough protection against severe illness from that age down."
Some 300,000 people will now be eligible for the fourth dose, which so far has been given to people with seriously weakened immune systems.
Taneli Puumalainen, a director at the Ministry for Health and Welfare, described the number of COVID-19 infections in Finland as "alarming." The health care system is over-burdened, he said, adding: "We appeal to people to protect themselves and others."
The reinfection rate in Finland has exceeded 1.0, and is now hovering between 0.90-1.05. This rate has increased from a previous level of 0.80-0.95.
Liisa-Maria Voipio Pulkki, a senior expert at the Ministry, said the share of positive results in clinical tests had increased from 34 percent at the end of January to 44 percent in mid-March. However, she explained that this does not reflect true levels of positive cases, as home tests are not registered, and the availability of clinical testing has been reduced.
The weekly number of deaths from COVID-19 in Finland has recently been the highest since the start of the epidemic. Early this week, the two-week total was 378, while two weeks earlier, the number stood at 209.