Vaccines Mass vaccinations are organized all over Finland as best seen locally – there is no nationwide plan

Municipalities must be fully prepared for mass vaccinations in the second week of February, because then a larger amount of Astra Zeneca vaccine can be obtained, the Department of Health and Welfare reports.

Situation vaccinating against the coronavirus is right now as if driving a yellow traffic light. Some of Finland’s municipalities are still speeding over the intersection, and others are waiting. The intermediate space is due to the scarcity of vaccine deliveries, and some municipalities no longer have anything to vaccinate.

There are currently so few vaccines from Pfizer, Biontech and Moderna that age-based vaccination has had to be discontinued in some places. This is the case, for example, in Pirkanmaa, where municipalities have temporarily suspended vaccinations for the elderly. This will soon be the case in South Savo, which has vaccinated its population the fastest.

At the same time At the same time, municipalities are preparing for mass vaccinations, for which large halls have been set aside, especially in larger cities.

“In order to get mass vaccinations, we need to have the Astra Zeneca vaccine in our hands. Hundreds of thousands of doses per week have been promised to Finland, but no more detailed information has been received from the drug manufacturer, ”says the leading expert. Mia Kontio From the Department of Health and Welfare (THL).

According to him, the THL has instructed municipalities to be fully prepared to vaccinate large numbers from week six, or the week beginning February 8th. The marketing authorization for Astra Zeneca’s coronary vaccine will be processed by the European Medicines Agency next week, but the exact date of processing has not yet been confirmed.

The marketing authorization for Astra Zeneca is also still uncertain about its effectiveness in different age groups, according to studies.

“For example, these rna vaccines now in use are known to have good efficacy even in older age groups. We are awaiting the decision of the European Medicines Agency on Astra Zeneca, ”says the Chair of the National Vaccination Expert Group. Ville Peltola.

The organization of vaccinations is practically entirely in the hands of the municipalities.

“There is no real big guideline for coronary vaccination. We have guidelines for conducting mass vaccinations and what to consider in them. Municipalities have the best information on organizing mass vaccinations, as they handle more than 1.5 million doses of influenza vaccinations every year, ”says Kontio.

According to the THL guideline, it is important to set aside enough vaccinators, facilities and other resources for mass vaccinations so that vaccinations can be given to large numbers of people.

Oulu Director of Health Jorma Mäkitalon all cities expect information on vaccine volumes and schedules to make mass vaccinations easier to plan.

“Mass vaccinations are being planned under tremendous uncertainty. We do not know with which vaccine they will be administered, and we do not know which vaccine will be used for which client group. We do not know how many vaccines will be received per week, and we do not know from which week. ”

According to Mäkitalo, vaccination in preparation by Pfizer, Biontech and Moderna is a “saving flame job”.

“Everything goes right away, what you get,” he says.

Even in Tampere Mass vaccination preparations are advanced: there is no shortage of steady-state vaccines.

The city said on Friday that Ratina Stadium, in the gyms of which the city will set up its “vaccination factory”, has been chosen as the site for mass vaccination. It rotates about twelve hours a day and seven days a week.

The advantage of the location is the easy location. A passage route will later be prepared for the interior of the stadium, where there will be a waiting room, a vaccination room and a post-vaccination rest room in different halls.

The gyms of Tampere’s Ratina Stadium are set to become vaccination points when mass vaccinations begin. Sports venue master Perttu Sinisalo soon presented the convertible halls on Friday.­

Up to fifteen lines will be erected next to the boards of large Finnish sports heroes, and the city believes that the weekly capacity will increase to 10,000 residents. On Friday, the halls were empty anyway due to the corona epidemic and were just waiting for vaccination points to be built in them.

Director of the Service Area for Social and Health Services Taru Kuosmanen according to the city is ready to start mass vaccinations in early February, but large-scale vaccination is unlikely to begin at that time because there are not enough vaccines.

Vaccines will be given in addition to Ratina at health stations. Some can be booked, some can walk in to wait their turn.

“We have calculated that in four months we have vaccinated everyone if there are enough vaccines available,” Kuosmanen says.

So that would mean that it would be ready already in the summer, but the big question is getting vaccines to Finland. There are about 200,000 vaccinated people over the age of 18 in Tampere.

The duration of vaccination is planned to be three minutes. The Ratina Center is scheduled to be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Vaccines are also given in some places on weekends.

Vaccination requires 40 people at all times. The city also plans to hire them to work from the private side.

Kuosmanen urges to follow the city’s information and react as soon as it is his turn. The situation is updated on the city’s website. The city is also starting to send personal letters and phone calls to older people in order of age, with the first target being over 80s.

In Southern Savonia The Essote consortium has maintained a leading position in the pace of vaccination.

“In December, we decided that the consortium will organize everything itself. It’s harder if the hospital district does something, the municipalities take care of something and the private do something. Of course, a small area is also beneficial, ”says the director of health services Santeri Seppälä says.

Seppälä also praises the fact that the staff has had a real mood and the desire to get vaccinations done as quickly as possible.

The Saimaa Stadium multipurpose hall has been reserved for mass vaccinations. “Planning is hard when there’s no accordion about the amounts that could come,” he says.

“However, we are prepared for the fact that there may suddenly be a lot of vaccines. That’s when we calculate that we could vaccinate everyone in the area over the age of 16 in a couple of weeks. ”

In Oulu is the director of health Jorma Mäkitalon prepared for mass vaccinations at, for example, the Ouluhalli near the city center.

“We are making arrangements. Telecommunication connections, traffic arrangements and other logistics have been clarified. We have a week’s waiting time to get the whole thing done, ”says Mäkitalo.

According to Mäkitalo, a total of about four vaccination centers are being prepared in Oulu. In addition to Ouluhalli, the seats are to be distributed to different parts of the city.

“If there are two rounds of vaccination, vaccination is easily a continuous stream of people and vehicles for several months. It cannot be put behind any bag, ”says Mäkitalo.

Mäkitalo reminds that the vaccine needed for mass vaccinations will be distributed perhaps in mid-February and possibly in such a small amount that vaccinations can be handled as usual in health centers.

According to Mäkitalo, concentrating in Oulu Hall would require 20,000–30,000 vaccines a week in a city the size of Oulu.

“Then it would make sense to focus on large spaces. However, no such promise has been made. ”

In Rovaniemi mass vaccinations began at City Hall on Wednesday. Vaccinations are given to Rovaniemi residents over the age of 80 who are not covered by the city’s services. Vaccinations are also given to an elderly person or carer living in the same household as a person over 80 years of age.

Vaccinations started in tangles when the phone reservation was congested and there were problems with electronic appointment booking. Vaccination times in the early days went by quickly. About 700 vaccinations a day can be given at the City Hall vaccination point.

Helsinki is scheduled to hold mass vaccinations initially at three separate vaccination points when mass vaccinations for the elderly begin. The exact location of the vaccination sites will be announced when the appointment opens next week. One of them has already been used to vaccinate social and health care professionals.­

Read more: Espoo and Vantaa will start mass vaccinations next week, Helsinki in just over a week

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