Skip to content

More healthcare professionals to be allowed to administer vaccines

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 25.4.2024 13.56
Press release
käsi ja laastari

Amendments have been made to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Decree on Vaccinations and to the Government Decree on Voluntary COVID-19 Vaccinations in order to allow dentists, senior pharmacists, pharmacists, practical nurses and biomedical laboratory scientists to administer vaccines in future. The aim of the amendments is to accelerate the administration of seasonal vaccines in particular and alleviate the shortage of healthcare personnel. The amendments will enter into force on 1 May 2024.

The healthcare sector suffers from a shortage of personnel, which also affects the rollout of vaccinations. The shortage of resources was notable last autumn, for example, when there was a backlog in COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations. Transferring nurses to help with mass vaccinations weakens the human resources situation in other parts of the healthcare sector.  

“The Decrees were amended so that, in future, COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations would roll out more effectively each autumn and so that we could ease the shortage of healthcare personnel,” says Minister of Social Security Sanni Grahn-Laasonen

“This is an example of how the burden on the healthcare system can be reduced by means of carefully considered solutions that change the division of duties and reduce the amount of regulation responsibly so that we can make better use of the skills and competence of healthcare and social welfare personnel. The right to administer vaccines will also be extended to pharmacy professionals, and this in turn will make it easier to develop pharmacies into health service points where services are, to an increasing extent, provided on a low-threshold basis,” Grahn-Laasonen says.

New professional groups required to have vaccination training 

The new professional groups are not allowed to vaccinate children under the age of 18, because vaccinating minors may require special skills and competence. Only doctors, dentists and those registered nurses, public health nurses and midwifes who have received the required vaccination training can administer COVID-19 vaccines to children under the age of 18.  

Pharmacists, senior pharmacists, practical nurses and biomedical laboratory scientists will be required to have additional vaccination training. Dentists, biomedical laboratory scientists and practical nurses are already allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccines under certain conditions. 

Vaccinations can only be provided by healthcare service units in the future, too. This means that pharmacies must register as private healthcare service providers before they can start to provide vaccinations. All vaccination activities must have a designated physician who is in charge of the activities, even when vaccines are administered at a health service point operating in connection with a pharmacy. Information on all administered vaccines must be duly recorded in patient information systems.


Taneli Puumalainen, Director General

Eemil Nuuttila, Special Adviser to the Minister of Social Security