Information on COVID-19 vaccination

The brand names of the vaccines used in Uusimaa are Comirnaty by BioNTech-Pfizer, Spikevax by Moderna, and Vaxzevria by AstraZeneca.

BioNTech-Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines represent a new type of mRNA vaccine. You can read more about mRNA vaccines on THL’s website.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is an adenovirus-vector vaccine. You can find more information on adenovirus vaccines on THL’s website.

  • The BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna´s vaccines will be used to people aged over 12
  • In accordance with the precautionary principle, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is currently used only if the mRNA vaccine is not suitable for the person to be vaccinated

The coronavirus vaccine involves two doses, the latter of which will be injected 6-12 weeks after the first one. If there is any delay with the booster vaccine, the second dose should be injected as soon as possible.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is instructing municipalities to offer the third coronavirus vaccine for patients over the age of 12 who are severely immunocompromised due to an illness or its treatment. In addition, THL recommends the third vaccine dose to those men aged 30 or over and women who have received their vaccines at a short dose interval (less than 6 weeks), and at least 6 months have passed from the second dose.

Read more here (in Finnish).

Municipalities will provide further information on vaccinations in their area. Click this link for the municipalities’ websites.

 

COVID-19 vaccine protects against the COVID-19 disease and especially its severe forms. The first dose does not provide the necessary protection against the infection. It is therefore important to get all the recommended vaccine doses.

Even after the vaccination, it is still important to maintain a safe distance to others, exercise proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette, wear a mask, get tested in case symptoms emerge and follow all the other instructions to prevent the COVID-19 disease from spreading. You can read instructions on THL’s website.

THL instructs municipalities to offer the third COVID-19 vaccine to those people over the age of 12 whose immune response has been severely weakened because of an illness or its treatment. In addition, THL recommends the third vaccine dose to those men aged 30 or over and women who have received their vaccines at a short dose interval and at least 6 months have passed from the second dose.

All vaccinations may cause symptoms and adverse reactions. The majority of vaccine-related adverse reactions occur within six weeks of vaccination.

The most common symptoms caused by a vaccine include symptoms on the injection site, such as discomfort, redness, heat and swelling. Temporary general symptoms are also very common, such as fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills, nausea, and fever.

Both localized and general symptoms usually occur within two days of vaccination. They pass in a few hours or days. They can be treated with fever and pain medication. These symptoms do not prevent you from further vaccination. You should prepare for the above-mentioned symptoms when you choose the time for your vaccination.

Other adverse effects, such as severe allergic reactions, have been very rare.

Inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or inflammation of the pericardium (pericarditis) with a possible link to mRNA vaccines has been reported as a very rare adverse reaction after the first or the second mRNA vaccination dose. The majority of the cases have been diagnosed in men under the age of 30. The number of cases in Finland is very small and not sufficient for drawing definite conclusions on the level of the risk. The symptoms have usually been mild and they have emerged within 14 days from the second vaccine dose. On the other hand, contracting COVID-19 also increases the risk of myocarditis.

It is advisable to avoid extremely strenuous exercise for 3 days after receiving the vaccine even though there is no direct evidence of a link between mRNA vaccines, physical activity and myocarditis. There is no need to restrict everyday physical activity if the person vaccinated feels well. If you have fever or feel generally unwell after the vaccination, it is recommended to avoid physical activity for the duration of the symptoms. Contact an emergency clinic if you experience chest pain, arrhythmias or dyspnea after the vaccination.

Finland, other Nordic countries, and Germany have reported slightly more cases than usual of very rare cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) in people younger than 65 after receiving AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

People who have received AstraZeneca’s vaccine should be alert for abnormally severe reactions that may occur more than three days after vaccination (usually 5 to 14 days later). Seek treatment immediately if you have an intense headache that clearly worsens, or you have very severe, increasing bruising on the skin or mucous membranes.

Using two different COVID-19 vaccines successively may cause slightly more side effects, such as fever, muscle ache and tiredness. These will pass in a few days. 

Authorities are always monitoring the safety of vaccines after deployment.

  • BioNTech-Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines will not be used for those under the age of 12 since there is not enough scientific data on the vaccination of this age group. For the same reason, AstraZeneca’s vaccines will not be used in under 18-year-old people.
  • People who have a fever or a feverish infection. In such cases, the vaccination will be delayed. A confirmation message will be sent upon booking an appointment. The message includes instructions for changing the time of appointment.
  • If the first vaccine dose or one of its ingredients caused an anaphylactic reaction on the person.
  • BioNTech-Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines are not suitable for persons with polyethylene glycol (PEG) allergy.
  • The AstraZeneca vaccine is not suitable for persons with an allergy to polysorbate 80.
  • If you have been previously diagnosed with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), or heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome TTS or capillary leak syndrome, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is not suitable for you. You will be vaccinated with another brand. Please book your vaccine appointment by phone and state your previous illness/reaction both over the phone and when you arrive for your vaccination. A previous cerebral infarction, cerebral hemorrhage or subarachnoid hemorrhage do not prevent you from receiving the vaccine. A previous pulmonary embolism or a deep vein thrombosis in the lower limbs, for example, do not prevent you from receiving the vaccine either.

Vaccines are generally considered safe during pregnancy if they do not contain live viruses. The new mRNA and adenovirus vector COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live viruses, but, as of yet, they have not been systematically researched on people who are pregnant. Breastfeeding does not prevent one from being vaccinated. Read more here.

If you are scheduled for surgery, the vaccine should be given two weeks before the surgery or a week after it. The unit responsible for your treatment may give you different timing instructions.

There are no downsides to being vaccinated even if the person had a coronavirus infection in its incubation period. Those who have already recovered from a coronavirus infection should be vaccinated, at earliest, after 6 months since the onset of symptoms, or in case of a symptomless coronavirus infection, after 6 months the infection was confirmed.

Even those with prolonged symptoms can be vaccinated. The vaccination date should be changed if the person is in a very poor condition, the examination has not been completed yet or the symptoms have suddenly worsened.

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