Saturday guests THL’s Mika Salmi, to put it bluntly, “treats” the treatment of young people in the coronary crisis, and he was mistaken for a vaccination strategy: “One who should not be promised should not be promised”

In the future, alongside decision-makers, Salminen would need a body that would look at the management of the crisis, its limitations and their social impact more broadly than at present.

Health and Director of the Health Security Department at the Department of Welfare (THL) Mika Salminen criticizes the way in which the treatment of the coronary crisis has been managed.

Management has been largely focused on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM) since the beginning of the pandemic. Salminen sees this as unfair, as the pandemic quickly turned into a crisis that extensively affects areas of life other than health.

“Very suddenly, this became a global crisis. This is not just a health crisis since the beginning, ”says Salminen.

Responsibility for managing the crisis could have been shared more evenly.

“The system is driven by one sector. Maybe it’s the question of whether this is the best possible model. ”

When Salminen looks back on the treatment of the pandemic, especially the fact that the effects of various measures on the treatment of non-coronary epidemics have not been sufficiently assessed.

Some restrictions and recommendations have been set without much thought being given to the implications for public health. As one single failure, Salminen highlights how young people have suffered from the restrictions caused by the pandemic.

“I am frustrated by the fact that we have not been able to take better care of young people. It has not really been properly assessed what the disadvantages are of students being caught up in distance learning for a year, ”he says.

“What does it mean for the future, for example, that we have universities closed for two years? What is the bill that will come of it? No such assessment has been made correctly. Should do.”

In the case of various restrictions, Salminen should have been able to weigh their adverse effects in advance and assess whether the restrictions are worth the potential disadvantages.

“When from us [THL:ltä] it is required that the situation of the epidemic next month should be predicted, so that it should also be possible to demand an assessment of the state of students’ mental health in a year’s time and take it into account when setting restrictions, ”says Salminen.

Salminen believes that ex-post evaluations of pandemic management will consider the need for a new type of management system in the event of future crises.

In March 2020, the President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö proposed to the government the establishment of an operational “fist” to combat the corona crisis. Niinistö’s proposal was reportedly based on concerns that in a multidimensional crisis such as the coronavirus, operational management should be more clearly in one place.

Salminen would need a similar body for the future. He would like an independent body between the government and experts to take overall responsibility for preparing matters, coordinating and presenting different options to decision makers. Thus, the preparation of decisions could be more comprehensive.

“Some kind of multi-sector team could have been good at bringing things together between politicians and experts. Not deciding, but thinking about alternatives, ”says Salminen.

“It’s not that it would be largely the responsibility of one ministry to think things through and then others do it, as that model may have been right now.”

Dividing responsibilities that have become unreasonably hard on several shoulders could also be a relief.

“Personally, I’d be willing to pay a little more in taxes that wouldn’t need to be considered because the swimming pools are going to close again.”

Salminen co-wrote the CEO of THL Markku Tervahaudan with HS’s Guest Pen column on Preparing for Future Pandemics on Wednesday. In their paper, they call for investment in health care to continue to meet the rapidly growing need for care for infectious patients.

Read more: The coronavirus epidemic is entering a new phase, write THL’s Markku Tervahauta and Mika Salminen

“Health care has been pulled really tight. Yes, it pretty much sounds like we can handle it only 50 intensive care patients without major problems. That level is much lower in relation to the population than in many other European countries. The border is fast approaching. There is flexibility, but then it is elsewhere [terveydenhuollosta] away, ”says Salminen.

According to Salminen, the capacity of health care should be increased so that, for example, intensive care or testing can be increased if necessary without affecting other aspects of health care.

The extensive consequences of the interest rate restrictions have not been sufficiently considered, says Mika Salminen of THL.

“Personally, I would be willing to pay a little more in taxes that I wouldn’t have to think about because swimming pools get closed again because I can’t get to the doctor for other reasons,” Salminen says.

“After all, we buy fighters because they would never have to be used. The same should be thought of here. Preparedness requires investment, otherwise it is not, ”says Salminen.

Bridge At present, Finland is moving in a different direction from many other European countries in terms of treating the coronavirus pandemic. In Austria and Germany, for example, those who are not vaccinated are partially excluded from social services with a vaccine passport.

In Finland, THL expressed last week considers the use of the corona passport to be an unnecessary restriction of fundamental rights in the current context, as vaccines do not effectively prevent the spread of micron transformation;. THL is also not in favor of converting the passport into a vaccine passport, as this would completely exclude non-vaccinators from services and could have a significant and lasting effect on general vaccination support in Finland. The government also announced that the corona passport will not be reintroduced for the time being.

Salminen explains Finland’s different attitude with the high vaccination coverage that has been achieved through the voluntary nature of vaccinations.

“France and Germany, for example, have had very high rates of vaccination in the past. In many countries, for example, schools have been required to be vaccinated in order to enter a school. We have such a good situation that there is no need to resort to such means, ”says Salminen.

“Finland has always been able to motivate people to take vaccinations. It is quite clear that, in principle, it is a better way than imposing some coercion or indirect coercion. ”

“One should not promise one who is not true.”

Salmisen According to Finland, it has not yet been seen that the general rate of vaccination has decreased. However, the concern is serious, he stresses.

“We’re really worried about that. It can already be seen, perhaps not quite a huge crowd, but still an even larger section of the population here on the path of confrontation. It’s a very bad development, ”he says.

Salminen hopes that the information that the coronavirus vaccine does not provide full protection against infections will affect the vaccine’s favor or the distribution of the population.

However, he said a mistake was made in November in updating the vaccination strategy. The goal included the prevention of the spread of coronary infections through vaccines.

“It was then suggested that vaccinations could completely prevent infections. Although the risk of infection was reduced quite significantly at the individual level, it was clear that this was not possible at the population level. We should not promise one that is not true, ”says Salminen.

Salminen emphasizes that vaccines are still effective in providing protection against a serious form of the disease.

“This is the important point. I’m pretty calm for myself and my loved ones because I know that if you get the disease, it’s the flu if it’s not terribly bad luck. And then I’m healthy again. In the past, there was a fear of getting a serious illness. No need now. That’s a pretty good reason to take those vaccines. ”

Finland is slowly opening up as restrictions on restaurants and events are widely lifted from 14 February.

According to Salminen, there is at least some turning point in the pandemic. The impact of coronavirus disease is no longer as severe as it used to be, thanks to Finland’s high vaccine coverage.

“It shows that we have the highest number of infections ever, but still the hospital load is not as high,” says Salminen.

However, according to Salminen, the situation may still change. There is probably another wave of infection ahead in the fall. It is unlikely that all Finns will become infected with the coronavirus during the spring. It is not yet certain how long the affected disease or vaccinations will provide protection.

“The positive thing is that each wave is likely to have a smaller impact than the previous ones,” says Salminen.

Mika Salminen

  • Born in 1965 in Helsinki.

  • THL’s Director of Health Safety and a member of the Management Team.

  • He is also the Director of the Center of Expertise for the Defense Forces and THL Bio-Threats and a member of the Scientific Council of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

  • Studied microbiology and defended his doctoral dissertation at the University of Helsinki. Docent of Virology at the University of Helsinki since 1998.

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