A road sign directing to coronavirus vaccination.

Coronavirus vaccinations starting for 18–54-year-olds belonging to a risk group due to an illness

18–54-year-old Helsinki residents who have an illness or condition that places them at extremely high risk of severe COVID-19 can book vaccination appointments as of tomorrow, Wednesday 10 March.

Vaccination appointments can be made online at koronarokotus.hel.fi. You can also call the appointment booking line 09 310 46300 (open weekdays at 8–18). The appointment booking line uses a call-back service that records all calls, and all unanswered calls are returned. Online appointment bookings will be available starting from this evening.

As of tomorrow, all Helsinki residents aged 18 and above who have an illness or condition that makes them very susceptible to severe forms of COVID-19, can make an appointment for vaccination.

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

– organ transplant or stem cell transplant

– actively treated cancer disease

– severe immunological disorder

– severe chronic nephropathy

– severe chronic pulmonary disease

– drug-treated type 2 diabetes

– Down syndrome (in adults)

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.

18–69-year-olds who are at risk due to an illness will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been nationally recommended for the vaccination of persons younger than 70. The sales permit for the AstraZeneca vaccine includes persons aged 18 and above. In other words, those who have turned 18 at the time of vaccination are eligible recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

For Helsinki residents aged 16–17 who are highly susceptible to severe COVID-19 due to an illness, appointment booking will be made available next week on Tuesday 16 March. They will receive the Pfizer vaccine, for which the sales permit covers persons aged 16 and above. The Pfizer vaccine is currently used primarily for the vaccination of elderly persons – aged 70 and above.

Vaccine entitlement is checked at the vaccination points using the Kanta service or the City of Helsinki patient information system. If the person to be vaccinated is not a customer of the City of Helsinki social services and health care due to an illness or the information of the Kanta service cannot be accessed, the illness or condition very highly exposing the person to severe COVID-19 shall be proved otherwise, e.g. with a copy of the patient record.

Text message to members of risk groups

The City of Helsinki Social Services and Health Care Division will be sending a text message to all Helsinki residents aged 18–54 who are at risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms due to an illness or other medical condition. A text message will be sent to all those who are customers of the social and health care services for health-related reasons. The text messages will be sent tomorrow on Wednesday.

The text message indicates that the recipient may belong to the group currently scheduled for vaccination. Recipients are urged to check whether or not this is the case and, if necessary, read the appointment booking instructions at www.hel.fi/sote/koronarokotus-en. The sender information of the text message will read HKI SOTE.

If you receive the text message but do not belong to a risk group, you do not need to take any action and can wait for your age group’s vaccination to begin later this year.

The text message is sent in Finnish or Swedish, based on the native language of each recipient. Those whose native language is not Finnish or Swedish will receive the message in Finnish, Swedish and English.

The text message will be sent to approximately 8,000 people. However, the message will not reach all those scheduled for vaccination due to an illness as some are customers of occupational or specialised health care services. Furthermore, a telephone number is not registered for all persons who are customers of social and health care services for health-related reasons. For this reason, information on coronavirus vaccinations is also published in newspapers. To find out more about whether or not you belong to an at-risk group due to an illness, visit www.hel.fi/sote/koronarokotus-en.

Some members of prior vaccination groups will also receive the text message due to deficiencies in the previous message delivery arrangements.

About 16,000 vaccines available in Helsinki this week

This week, about 16,000 vaccines are available for use in Helsinki. Starting from today, 70–74-year-olds can also make vaccination appointments. As regards the first vaccine jab, the coverage of persons aged 80 and above is already 87% and the coverage of 75–79-year-olds is 19%.

Two shots of the vaccine are administered at an interval of 12 weeks, in accordance with the National Institute for Health and Welfare’s recommendation. The appointment for the second vaccination is set in conjunction with the first vaccination. Persons who have had COVID-19 are recommended to get vaccinated six months after the beginning of the symptoms or the diagnosis.

Vaccinations are administered at the vaccination points of Jätkäsaari, Messukuskus, Malmi and Myllypuro.

Picture: Virpi Velin

News modified 16 March so that the reference to the text message sent to 16-17-year-olds at the time their vaccination appointment opens has been removed. They will not be sent a text message.