The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare gave a recommendation to delay the administration of second dose of all Covid-19 vaccinations to 12 weeks after the first administration. BioNTech, the German manufacturer of the vaccine to be procured in Finland, has warned that the efficacy of the vaccine is not guaranteed if the second dose is delayed by more than three weeks. Member of parliament Mari Rantanen made a parliamentary question to the Finnish government, asking the scientific basis for the recommendation.
– Government has stated that their decisions are based on best knowledge. I would like to know, why the government is taking a risk on delaying the second dose of vaccination despite instructions from the manufacturer and guidance of the international scientific community, Mari Rantanen questions.
Chief physician for the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare Hanna Nohynek justifies its policy on the grounds that the vaccinee often gets better protection by extending the dosing interval. In addition, according to Nohynek, a longer dose interval will help to increase vaccination coverage in a severe epidemic situation, when doses arriving in small batches are sufficient for more people.
– The epidemic situation in Finland is not as severe as in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, which has also decided to extend the delivery interval. Also, there’s no guarantee that the vaccination will provide any meaningful protection if used against instructions, Mari Rantanen states.
The Finnish government must give answer to the parliamentary question in 21 days