According to a news source, Finland offers extra COVID-19 vaccines to Laos and Vietnam, while other countries refrain from providing such aid. Vaccines from Finland have been distributed to nations such as Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. It began in October in Ivory Coast and has since been donated to Egypt, Laos, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Syria, and Nigeria.
Finland has provided around three million doses of the COVID-19 vaccination to other nations via an international distribution mechanism. Since the demand for COVID-19 vaccines has decreased, finding countries willing to accept donations has become more difficult.
“For example, the African Union no longer receives [donated] vaccines from the European Union,” said Sari Ekholm, senior advisor for medical affairs at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. When nations such as Finland banned immunizations in November 2021, the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine was supplied to Europe.
THL announced in late October that AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria coronavirus immunization would be discontinued by the end of November due to safety concerns. In Finland and elsewhere, an unusually high incidence of blood clots among immunization recipients has raised safety concerns.
Due to vaccine oversupply, many African governments have stopped supplying AstraZeneca vaccines, a JNJ product, as well as other general vaccinations this year “AstraZeneca’s reputation has suffered in several African countries. Regrettably, they also obstruct Western communications.”
According to Finland’s senior ambassador, Eija Limnell, Covax, or Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, is a global association that promotes equitable access to vaccines. According to Limnell, the majority of Finland’s presents are delivered to vulnerable and underprivileged countries.
Vaccine clock is ticking – closer and closer to expiry
In April, 195,000 COVID vaccines were distributed in Finland. Vaccines are distributed by the THL to health care districts across the country, which then make them available to the general population. During the peak of Finland’s COVID vaccination efforts, the Lapland health care district administered a few hundred shots every week but this figure has since declined.
According to pharmacist Leena Laine at Lapland health care district hospital, this remarkable decline is due to THL’s changed immunization recommendations and a lessening of the pandemic’s severity. She believes that Finland’s current stockpile of around three million doses is adequate to cover all of the country’s so-called second booster injections (or fourth doses) and third vaccine doses for children over the age of five.
The number of COVID vaccinations given to Finns this summer will be reduced, with larger doses predicted in the fall. According to THL specialist physician Anniina Virkku, the majority of the country’s vaccines will expire by November. A few tiny samples are nearing their expiration dates, but Virkku says that there is still plenty of time. In collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden and other Nordic countries are considering supplying vaccines directly to designated countries.