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Two-dose COVID-19 vaccination rate reaches 76 per cent for people aged 12 or over – burden on specialised healthcare remains substantial

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 21.10.2021 10.00 | Published in English on 21.10.2021 at 10.25
Press release 312

On 20 October, 85 per cent of the target population for COVID-19 vaccination in Finland, i.e. people who are 12 years of age or over, had received at least one vaccine dose and 76 per cent two vaccine doses. According to the current estimate, it is possible to achieve 80 per cent vaccination coverage by the first week of November, if the increase in the vaccine uptake does not slow down.

As the local or regional epidemic situation deteriorates, the spread of infections and its harmful effects can still be effectively prevented by introducing measures under the hybrid strategy either in a specific municipality or in a larger area.

Between 14 and 20 October, the uptake of the first vaccine dose grew by less than one percentage point and the uptake of the second dose by two percentage points.

At the end of last week, the total number of inpatients in specialised healthcare was 137, with 34 of them being inpatients in intensive care. A total of 118 new COVID-19 inpatients were admitted to specialised healthcare between 14 and 20 October, which is as many as the week before.

Over the past three weeks, the burden on specialised healthcare increased especially in inpatient care, from 58 patients to 103 patients. The number of intensive care patients increased from 23 patients to 34 patients. Last week, 23 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to intensive care. Specialised healthcare has as many patients now as it had at the end of February 2021. On 20 October 2021, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths reported to the communicable diseases register was 1,133.

If the epidemic gets worse, there is an undeniable risk to the health of those who can catch the disease and a risk of increased need for hospital care. Over the last two-week period, unvaccinated people between the ages of 12 to 79 who have COVID-19 have received specialised healthcare 19 times more often than those in the same age group who have been vaccinated twice. The risk of being admitted to specialised healthcare has been highest among unvaccinated people aged 50−79. The risk is 28 times higher for them than for those in the same age group who have been vaccinated twice. To curb the epidemic, the most important thing now is to work towards achieving the highest possible level of vaccination coverage and to promote health security practices at the local and regional levels.

The incidence of new COVID-19 cases over the last two-week period was 137 per 100,000 inhabitants. This is around 10 per cent more than in the preceding two-week period when the incidence of cases was 124 per 100,000 inhabitants. Over the last two-week period, the incidence has been greatest among unvaccinated people between the ages of 12 to 49.

The amended guidelines on testing have affected the number of conducted COVID-19 tests. Between 14 and 20 October, approximately 80,300 tests were taken, which is nearly as many as in the previous week. The proportion of positive cases of all samples was 4.6 per cent, showing a slight decrease on the previous week’s 4.9 per cent. 
The epidemiological situation is monitored weekly. The next monitoring report of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare will be published exceptionally on Thursday next week. 


Mia Kontio, Senior Specialist, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected]
Pasi Pohjola, Director, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]

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