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Frequently asked questions about corona vaccinations

Where and when are corona vaccinations administered?
Who will be vaccinated in Helsinki?
Why and how are corona vaccinations administered?
Protection provided and safety of the corona vaccination
AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine
Healthcare and social services personnel
Seniors and other at-risk groups
Rest of the population
Further information

Where and when are corona vaccinations administered?

How can I get the COVID-19 vaccination?

The COVID-19 vaccinations are given at the vaccination points without or with an appointment. At the moment, these points are offering vaccinations to Helsinki residents who have turned 12 years and older.

Book a time at bookcovidvaccine.fi or by calling the appointment booking number 09 310 46300 on weekdays 8–18. We operate a callback service. If your call is not immediately answered, your number is saved and we will call you back within a few days. We also call back in the evenings and on weekends. 

Are the vaccination points visible in the booking system?

Yes, the vaccination points are visible in the booking system. During the appointment booking you can choose at which vaccination point you want to be vaccinated. You can also change the vaccination point. If you booked a vaccination appointment online, change the vaccination point online. If you made the vaccination appointment by phone, change the vaccination point by phone.

When will I receive the COVID-19 vaccination?

At the moment vaccinations are offered to everybody who has turned 12 years and older. 

Who will be vaccinated in Helsinki? 

Everyone living in Helsinki is vaccinated in Helsinki when it is their turn to get vaccinated. Non-residents and foreigners staying in Helsinki for a long time are vaccinated at the Helsinki vaccination points, but otherwise vaccination is available in their home municipality. Also Finnish expatriates can get vaccinated in Helsinki if it is their turn to get vaccinated in accordance with the Finnish vaccination schedule. Vaccines are not given to tourists or others who visit Helsinki for a short period.

If you have recently been abroad, the health safety instructions for coming to Finland must be followed. See here for more information on how to proceed after entry.

Healthcare personnel working with corona patients in Helsinki, as well as 24-hour care personnel for the elderly, receive the vaccine at the vaccination points in Helsinki. Social and health care personnel are invited to vaccinations through their supervisor.

How do I get information about the vaccination?

You can get information about the vaccination schedules and target groups via the websites coronavaccination-en.hel.fi and hel.fi, print media, the social media channels of the City of Helsinki, and the service locations of social services and healthcare.

Where can I see a booked appointment?

The vaccination appointment can be seen in the booking system at bookcovidvaccine.fi. You also get a text message and e-mail about the booked time. The message also includes instructions about how to change or cancel the booking. You can also ask about a booked appointment by calling 09 310 46300 weekdays 8-18.

Through which public channels can I get information if I don’t use internet?

Information about the vaccination timetables, places and appointment bookings are published also in newspapers and the city’s information points. Everyone over 70 years old will also receive information about the vaccinations per mail.

Who will receive the COVID-19 vaccination?

Everyone who wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccination will be able to receive it. In Finland, the COVID-19 vaccines will be purchased for the entire population. The vaccination is voluntary and free of charge to everyone – including healthcare personnel. 

Is there a risk that I don’t get the vaccine?

Everyone who wants the vaccine will get it. Vaccines are bought for the entire population of Finland.

Can I get in line for the vaccine?

It’s not possible to queue for the vaccine. Different groups are vaccinated at different times and you can book an appointment when your group is being vaccinated.

Do I get an invite for the vaccination?

You will not receive a personal invitation for the vaccine. Information about timetables, places and appointment booking for the different groups are published e.g. on the website coronavaccination-en.hel.fi. People who are 70 years old or older will receive information about the vaccinations per mail.

How has the city prepared for the appointment booking number getting jammed?

We hope that people would use the electronic appointment booking as much as possible, but the phone service is still the preferred service channel for many people. We have prepared for this with a large number of employees.

Can I book a coronavirus vaccination appointment through the callback service at my health station?

You cannot book a vaccination appointment through the callback service at a health station. You can book a vaccination appointment at bookcovidvaccine.fi or by calling the appointment booking number 09 310 46300 on weekdays 8–18.

How do you guarantee that only those in line for a vaccine get it, and not other people?

Only the ones who have the vaccination right will be vaccinated. The vaccination right is something that is checked before the vaccination at the vaccination point.

Can I get the second vaccination dose in another city?

The second dose is given in the same place as the first. If you move to another city after the first vaccine dose, you will primarily receive the second dose in your new hometown.

Who will get the third vaccination dose, and when?

At the moment third doses are offered to people with severe immune deficiency. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Finnish Government will later decide on the vaccination order for third doses for the rest of the population.

Why and how are corona vaccinations administered?

Why is the COVID-19 vaccination being administered?

The primary goal of the COVID-19 vaccination is to prevent severe cases of COVID-19 and the deaths and loss of years caused by the disease, and to maintain the capacity of healthcare. The COVID-19 vaccination offers protection against the coronavirus disease and especially its severe variations. It is not yet known for certain if the COVID-19 vaccination prevents the virus from being transmitted from one person to another. We will gain more knowledge as more information is collected.

With the corona vaccine we are trying to stop the coronavirus pandemic. So that the pandemic can be over and we can return to a normal life in the future it would be important that everyone takes the vaccine when it is their turn.

How is the COVID-19 vaccination administered?

The COVID-19 vaccinations are administered at the vaccination points by appointment only. The vaccination will be administered by a healthcare professional. The vaccines we are currently using require two doses. You can book both appointments at the same time. The COVID-19 vaccination provides the best protection only about a week after receiving the second vaccine dose.

Can I choose which vaccine I get?

There are currently two different vaccines in use in Helsinki. The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently used for people aged 65 years and older. People aged 65 years and older can choose the Pfizer vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is used to vaccinate people who are 12 years and older. 

If you are 65 years of age or older and have received AstraZeneca as your first jab, the booster jab will also be AstraZeneca. This is also recommended by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). If a person refuses to take the AstraZeneca vaccine for their second jab, they may choose to receive the Pfizer vaccine instead. It is currently not possible to change the vaccine type through the electronic booking system for the 2nd jab. It is also possible to change the vaccine type at the vaccination point.

Persons under 65 years old who received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, receive the booster jab with the Pfizer vaccine. Persons who received the first dose with the Pfizer vaccine get the booster jab with the same vaccine.

Will I get a certificate of the COVID-19 vaccination?

You can get the EU Digital COVID Certificate conveniently from the My Kanta service. The EU Digital COVID Certificate consists of three different certificates:

1. a COVID-19 vaccination certificate,
2. a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test result,
3. a certificate of recovery from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccination certificate will be available in My Kanta as soon as you have received the vaccination. The certificate will show the name of the most recent vaccine received, the date of administration and the number of vaccine doses. If you have received two vaccines, only the name of the second vaccine dose will be shown.

The information described above will be transferred to My Kanta within approximately five days.

More information about the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

Protection provided and safety of the corona vaccination

For how long will the vaccination provide protection?

The duration of the protection provided by the COVID-19 vaccination is not yet known, since the vaccinations have only been used for a short time. We will know more about the need for any booster vaccinations once we gain more information.

Is the COVID-19 vaccination safe?

The COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated based on the same criteria for quality, safety and effect as other pharmaceutical products. The COVID-19 vaccines go through all the normal research phases. Their effect and safety is studied on tens of thousands of people. A vaccine that has received a sales permit must provide the best possible protection against the disease with as little harmful effects as possible.

Even though new vaccines are tested thoroughly, the possibility of rare side effects cannot be completely excluded for any vaccine or medication. Extremely rare side effects may only occur when the vaccine has been given to a larger group of people. The authorities monitor the safety of the vaccine even after the vaccine has been taken into use.

Which symptoms may the COVID-19 vaccination cause?

The most common symptoms after vaccination include local symptoms on the injection spot, such as pain, redness, a hot sensation and swelling. Other very common symptoms include general symptoms, such as fever, muscle ache, headache, fatigue, irritability, nausea and shivers.

The symptoms to be expected are more common after the second vaccine dose.

The local and general symptoms usually start within a few days from the vaccination. They stop in a few hours or days. The symptoms can be treated with medications for fever and pain. The local or general symptoms do not prevent you from getting the other vaccine doses.

If I have received the COVID-19 vaccination, do I need to practise social distancing or wear a mask?

Even after receiving the vaccination, it remains essential that everyone maintains safe distances, takes care of hand and coughing hygiene, wears a mask when social distancing is not possible, books a test when showing symptoms, and follows all other instructions regarding COVID-19.

Fever or increased body temperature may be caused by the vaccination, but they may also be symptoms of a COVID-19 infection. This is why you need to stay at home if you have fever after the COVID-19 vaccination until the fever has stopped for 24 hours (without taking medication that reduces fever). If you suffer from fever or increased body temperature for more than 3 days or develop other symptoms indicative of a COVID-19 infection, please book a COVID-19 testing appointment.

See more instructions on avoiding coronavirus infections here..

Can a person with a weakened immune system receive the COVID-19 vaccination?

Yes, they can. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain live viruses. This means that the vaccination cannot infect the person with the disease itself even if their immune system is weakened.

However, the vaccination will not be given if the person has fever at the time. In this case, the vaccination will be postponed.

Do I need to take the vaccination if I have been infected with COVID-19 in the past?

According to current information, having contracted COVID-19 will provide most of the infected with an immunity of at least six months. Persons who have already had COVID-19 are offered the vaccine after at least two months have passed from the date the symptoms started or the date you took your positive coronavirus test. The effectiveness of the vaccination on persons who have had COVID-19 is proved to be at a good level.

Can you get a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant, planning pregnancy or breastfeeding?

THL recommends COVID-19 vaccines for all pregnant women. Because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant in Finland, the risk of getting coronavirus infection while pregnant has increased. 

A person who is pregnant can get a coronavirus vaccine at any stage of the pregnancy. The second dose of a series of coronavirus vaccines started before the pregnancy can also be taken after the pregnancy has started. Pregnancy increases the risk to get severe coronavirus infection. Being infected by the coronavirus during pregnancy can increase the likelihood of premature birth.

You can get the coronavirus vaccine if you are planning pregnancy. You can get pregnant after the vaccination without any safety period.

You can get a coronavirus vaccine while breastfeeding. Messenger RNA in the mRNA vaccine is destroyed in the human body in about 24 hours and studies conducted on nursing mothers indicate that it is not passed on into breast milk. A breast feeding mother who has been vaccinated will not infect a new-born with the coronavirus as easily as one who has not been vaccinated.

Read more about the suitability of COVID-19 vaccines for different groups here on THL's website.

Have vaccinated people been infected with the coronavirus?

There has been some cases where a vaccinated person has later been infected with the coronavirus. The vaccine provides protection againt the coronavirus infection, especially towards the severe forms of the illness. Unfortunately, no vaccine provides a complete protection. To get over the pandemic, it’s important that as many as possible get the vaccine when it’s their turn.

Can I donate blood once I have reveiced the coronavirus vaccine?

The coronavirus vaccine does not prohibit you from donating blood. A strong reaction to the vaccine (strong aches, fever or rash) means you cannot donate blood for two days from the moment the symptoms stop.

AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Can doctors certify that I have been given a certain vaccine?

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has instructed that doctors are not permitted to write a certification for clients recommending any certain vaccine.

What is known about the side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine?

Like all medicines, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria can have side effects. However, not everyone gets them. The most common side effects with coronavirus vaccines are mild and transient. Read more on THL's webpages here (in Finnish).

What are the illnesses or conditions that prevent AstraZeneca from being given?

The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently not used in people aged 65 years and older who have a history of Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS), Capillary Leak Syndrome, Sinus Thrombosis or Heparin-associated Thrombocytopenia (HIT). AstraZeneca should also not be given to a person who has had an anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or to any of the other ingredients of the vaccine.

How common are conditions of sinus thrombosis or thrombocytopenia that prevent AstraZeneca from being given?

There are less than 100 people in Helsinki who will not be vaccinated with AstraZeneca for this reason. It is important to note that vascular thrombosis of the cerebral veins, as well as intestinal veins and arteries, observed in those now vaccinated is very rare. On the other hand, other forms of vascular thrombosis are quite common in the Finnish population. No increase in these common forms of vascular thrombosis have been observed in vaccines. Coronavirus itself, on the other hand, is associated with a markedly increased risk of general vascular thrombosis.

Are there any other restrictions on taking AstraZeneca?

No there aren't. A history of cerebral artery thrombosis or cerebral infarction, cerebral hemorrhage, or subarachnoid hemorrhage is not a barrier to vaccine administration. A previous history of pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis in the lower extremities, for example, is not a barrier to the administration of AstraZeneca.

At what age is AstraZeneca recommended?

The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently used in people aged 65 years and older. In accordance with the precautionary principle, AstraZeneca coronary vaccine is not currently given in Finland to people under 65 years of age. Vaccination is continued for the time being in people aged 65 and over, as they have not been found to be at increased risk of developing very rare blood clotting problems after vaccination.

I am under 65 years old and I have received the first vaccination with a vaccine AstraZeneca. Which vaccine will I receive as my second vaccination?

People under the age of 65 years who have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine will receive a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Read more on THL's website: Safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

How many AstraZeneca vaccines have been given?

In Europe, already over 110 million doses of AstraZeneca have been administered. 

Healthcare and social services personnel

When will healthcare and social services personnel receive the vaccination?

According to the national COVID-19 vaccination strategy, the vaccination will first be offered to healthcare and social services professionals caring for COVID-19 patients or working at nursing homes providing 24-hour care for seniors. The national order of vaccinations for healthcare and social services professionals is the following:

  1. Personnel of intensive care units
  2. Personnel of wards and emergency services caring for patients with a verified or suspected COVID-19 infection, as well as first aid personnel
  3. Personnel of infection clinics caring for patients with a verified or suspected COVID-19 infection, personnel of COVID-19 testing points, and laboratory personnel working on COVID-19 diagnostics
  4. Personnel and residents of housing services for elderly provided by the social services and intensive/24-hour institutional care (groups 3 and 4 can be vaccinated at the same time)
  5. Limitedly: critical healthcare and social services personnel, such as the staff of organ transplant units. 

Seniors and other at-risk groups

When will seniors and other risk groups receive the vaccination?

After healthcare and social services professionals, vaccinations will be offered to seniors and other at-risk groups. The other at-risk groups include persons suffering from illnesses that increase the likelihood of the severe variant of COVID-19. The national vaccination order for seniors and other at-risk groups is the following:

  1. People aged 85 years and older, including their informal carers.                                         
  2. People aged 80-84 years, including their  informal carers.                                         
  3. People aged 75–79 years, including their informal carers.  
  4. People aged 70–74 years, including their  informal carers.  
  5.  People aged under 70 years with an illness that significantly increases the likelihood of the severe variant of COVID-19.
  6. People aged under 70 years with an illness that increases the likelihood of the severe variant of COVID-19.

My partner is in the risk group, but I’m not. Will we be vaccinated at the same time?

We proceed according to the national vaccination strategy. This means that partners or people in the same household might be vaccinated at different times.

I am an elderly person with mobility difficulties. How do I get to the vaccination point?

If you need help with transportation, announce it when you book a vaccination appointment by phone. If you have booked an appointment earlier or online you can contact Senior info. Senior info is available Mon-Fri from 9 am to 3 pm, tel. 09 310 44556.  

We recommend using HSL's Neighborhood routes which are designed to serve, in particular, the elderly and mobility impaired people. The vaccination points have lobby salutors who assist mobility impaired people. There are also wheelchairs on loan.

Kela will provide compensation for travel costs associated with getting vaccinated against COVID-19 under the same terms as for any other trip to visit a healthcare provider (also for the return trip). Clients who use public transport or a private car must claim compensation afterwards from Kela. The easiest way to claim is to visit Kela's e-services at www.kela.fi/asiointi (Finnish) or www.fpa.fi/etjanst (Swedish).

Clients who for health reasons are prevented from using public transportation, or it is not available, can get a reimbursement for using a taxi 27.3.-31.12.2021. If you have the right to use a taxi and get reimbursed by Kela, call the regional dispatch number to book a taxi. Please be aware that if you book a taxi in some other way, Kela will not reimburse you for the trip. Read instructions on Kela's website: How to book a taxi.

Can a relative book a vaccination appointment on behalf of an elderly person?

A relative can book a vaccination appointment on behalf of an elderly person. This means that a relative who has an agreement to act on behalf of another person can book a vaccination appointment on behalf of an elderly person at bookcovidvaccine.fi or by calling 09 310 46300 on weekdays 8–18. 

When and how are home care clients vaccinated?

Vaccinations are given according to the national vaccination strategy. Home care clients are vaccinated in the order their vaccination turn comes up. There is not a separate and mutual group for home care clients.

Home care clients are offered vaccinations either at home or at vaccination points depending on their situation. There are some restrictions regarding the storing, transporting and portioning of the vaccines, so it is not always possible to transport the vaccines to a certain location. This is why we wish that as many as possible get vaccinated at the vaccinations points. Clients in service houses are also vaccinated in the service houses. Please check with the staff if you are entitled to be vaccinated in the service house.

When are personal assistants vaccinated?

Personal assistants get vaccinated in accordance with the national vaccination strategy, so there is no separate vaccination schedule for personal assistants.

How do I know if I am part of an at-risk group?

Risk groups being vaccinated include elderly people over 70 years old and people with illnesses or conditions that very highly expose or expose to severe COVID-19. Click the link here to see illnesses and conditions that very highly expose to severe COVID-19 or here to see illnesses and conditions that expose to severe COVID-19.

You can also call Helsinki's coronavirus helpline tel. 09 310 10024 (every day 8–18) and ask, if you are part of an at-risk group.

Why are special groups, such as people with disabilities, not mentioned in the risk groups in the vaccination order?

Diseases and conditions are divided into two groups (risk group 1 and 2) depending on the degree of exposure to severe COVID-19 that is caused by them. The groups and the examples mentioned in them illustrate which underlying diseases and conditions belong to the group in question. It has not been possible to list each individual disease and condition and their severity rates.

Are there wheelchairs at the vaccination points?

Yes, it is possible to borrow wheelchairs at the vaccination points.

Rest of the population

Can a person under the age of 18 book a vaccination appointment themselves?

Yes, 12-17-year-olds can book a vaccination appointment themselves at bookcovidvaccine.fi or by phone on 09 310 46300 weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm. The guardian of a young person can also book a vaccination appointment on behalf of the young person.

Further information



22.09.2021 16:11