A girl looking at a phone.

Coronavirus vaccination of individuals aged 16-17 susceptible to severe COVID-19 begins in Helsinki

Residents of Helsinki aged 16–17 with an illness or condition that expose to severe COVID-19 can start booking vaccination appointments at bookcovidvaccine.fi from 16:00 on Thursday 29 April onwards. Vaccination appointments can also be booked by phone by calling the appointment booking number 09 310 46300 from 8:00 on Friday 30 April onwards. 

The fastest way to book an appointment is to use the online service. The appointment booking number is available on weekdays 8:00–18:00.

Last Friday, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare lowered the age limit for those in risk group 2 to 16 years old, when it was previously 18 years old.

Illnesses or conditions that expose to severe COVID-19 are the following:

- asthma requiring continuous medication,
- severe heart disease, including heart failure (but not just hypertension),
- neurological illness or condition that affects breathing,
- immunosuppressive medication for an autoimmune disease,
- severe chronic liver disease,
- type 1 diabetes or adrenal insufficiency,
- moderate to severe sleep apnoea,
- psychotic disorder and
- morbid obesity (body mass index of 40 or above).

More information on illnesses exposing people to severe COVID-19 and on the groups currently being vaccinated can be found at coronavaccination-en.hel.fi.

Vaccine entitlement is checked at the vaccination points by using the Kanta service or the City of Helsinki patient information system. If the person to be vaccinated is not a client of the City of Helsinki Social Services and Health Care Division due to an illness or the information of the Kanta service cannot be accessed, the illness or condition making the person highly susceptible to severe COVID-19 shall be proved otherwise, e.g. with a copy of the patient record.

Vaccinations are being carried out at the vaccination points of Jätkäsaari, Messukeskus, Malmi and Myllypuro.

The vaccine jabs will be administered at an interval of 12 weeks, in accordance with the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare’s recommendation. Both vaccinations are booked at the same time. The vaccine is free of charge and voluntary.

Persons who have already had COVID-19 are offered the vaccine after at least six months have passed from the onset of symptoms or the diagnosis of the illness.

Currently, coronavirus vaccinations can be reserved for:

- persons turning 70 years old this year or older, as well as their informal carers (born in 1951 or earlier),
- those aged 16 years or older who are susceptibility to severe COVID-19 due to their illness or condition (risk groups 1 and 2, risk group 2 includes 16-17 year olds from 29 April/30 April),
- persons turning 55 years old this year or older (born in 1966 or earlier),
- Social Services and Health Care workers belonging to the vaccination group and
- election officials belonging to the vaccination group.

The vaccination appointments for 50-54 year-olds are expected to open early next week.

Picture: Helsinki City's material bank / Kimmo Brandt