Information on COVID-19 vaccination

The brand names of the vaccines used in Uusimaa are Comirnaty by BioNTech-Pfizer, Covid-19 Vaccine Moderna 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 vaccine will be used to people aged over 16
  • Moderna’s vaccine will be used to people aged over 18
  • Currently, the AstraZeneca vaccine is  given according to the precautionary principle to people who turn 65 this year, and older. Check your municipality’s website on COVID-19 vaccinations for more detailed information on how people aged 65 and older can choose the type of vaccine.

Please note! If you have been previously diagnosed with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), or heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), 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.

The selection of vaccines can be expected to expand in the future.

The coronavirus vaccine involves two doses, the latter of which will be injected 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 vaccination order is based on the order of COVID-19 vaccinations as proposed by the National Institute for Health and Welfare of Finland (THL).

COVID-19 vaccine protects against the COVID-19 disease and especially its severe forms.

It is not yet known for certain whether the BioNTech-Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines prevent transmission between people. According to preliminary data, the AstraZeneca vaccine reduces transmission.

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.

The immunity duration and potential need for further booster vaccinations are also not known yet.

Any vaccine can cause side effects. 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.

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

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. The possible causal link between AstraZeneca’s vaccine and the cases is currently being investigated. Meanwhile, people younger than 65 will receive other vaccines.

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.

  • The BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine will not be used for those under the age of 16 since there is not enough scientific data on the vaccination of this age group. For the same reason, Moderna’s and 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), 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.

People turning 65 this year and older may choose to start their vaccine series with the AstraZeneca vaccine or with the mRNA vaccine in use in their home municipality (BioNTech-Pfizer or Moderna).   

The booster vaccine for people aged 65 and older will be the same as the first vaccine they received. Exceptions will be made if a contraindication has appeared, such as a severe allergic reaction to the first vaccine.  

According to the instructions from THL (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare) dated May 18, if a person aged 65 or older received AstraZeneca as their first dose but refuses to receive a second dose of it, they may receive an mRNA vaccine instead. In these cases however, it is important to note that the waiting time for an mRNA vaccine may be longer than 12 weeks, which is the recommended interval for the two doses. Please see more detailed information on the possible side effects of combining different vaccines under “What side effects can the COVID-19 vaccine cause?”  

If you refuse to receive another dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, cancel your appointment for the second dose. Appointments for the second vaccine booked via Bookcovidvaccine.fi on April 8 or later can be cancelled using the link, appointment ID and PIN provided in the confirmation message. If the vaccine appointment is less than 5 hours away, the appointment was booked before April 8, or you do not have a confirmation message, please cancel the appointment by calling the phone service for COVID-19 vaccines in your home municipality. Book a new appointment via the phone service and state that you wish to receive an mRNA vaccine. Please note that it is not possible to change the vaccine at the vaccination point.  

Check your municipality’s website on COVID-19 vaccinations for more detailed information on how to choose the type of vaccine. Links to the municipalities’ websites are listed here 

For people under the age of 65, a new series of vaccines will always start with an mRNA vaccine (BioNTech-Pfizer or Moderna). If the person has already received a first dose with the AstraZeneca vaccine, the second dose will be an mRNA vaccine according to the precautionary principle. 

If the person under the age of 65 has an undisputed medical contraindication for mRNA vaccines, such as a severe allergy to a component of mRNA vaccines, or if an mRNA vaccine has caused a serious adverse effect after the first dose, they may receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.  

Check your municipality’s website on COVID-19 vaccinations for more detailed information on how to choose the type of vaccine. Links to the municipalities’ websites are listed here. 

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