According to updated guidelines from the Department of Health and Welfare THL, patients who have recovered from Covid are now receiving a second dose of the vaccine.
In the past, the Public Health Agency has recommended only one dose of the vaccine to patients who have recovered from the virus.
However, none is enough for people to get a Covid passport and are therefore entitled to travel abroad, for example. An EU-Covid certificate, which also serves as a Covid passport in Finland, can only be obtained if a person has received two doses of the vaccine, been infected with Covid within six months or received a negative test result within 72 hours.
Not all municipalities have given a second dose to those who have been infected more than six months ago. About 30,000 Finns have fallen through these administrative breaks and consider the situation unfair.
The only way these 30,000 people can get a Covid Passport is to get a negative test certificate that is valid for 72 hours.
THL expert Mia Kontio told the news agency STT that THL has not banned the second dose of the vaccine, but has based its recommendation on medical reasons, as the second dose of vaccine is not needed for protection in those who have already received it.
“Now we have changed the guideline so that those who are willing can be vaccinated, whatever the reason,” Kontio said, stressing that THL’s guidelines are recommendations, not agreements binding on municipalities.
He further added that those who recovered from the virus and were vaccinated once are not technically eligible for a second dose of the vaccine. However, THL hopes that the municipalities will take the new guidelines into account.
“The situation is exceptional and a little difficult,” Kontio said.
Those who are not eligible for a Covid passport have contacted the Deputy Mayor of Helsinki
Deputy Mayor of the City of Helsinki for Social Affairs and Health, Daniel Sazonov, told STT that the city had acted in accordance with THL ‘s instructions.
“The City of Helsinki has already outlined that if THL changes its guidelines in this regard, we will act in accordance with the changed guidelines,” Sazonov said.
The deputy mayor also said he has been contacted by people who have found themselves in problematic situations where a Covid passport would have been required, but the document has not been approved for a single dose of vaccine, even though recovery from the virus has been documented.
“We are now in a situation where so many people have become infected that this is no longer an issue for a few individuals,” Sazonov said.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is currently looking for a solution to obtain a Covid passport for those who have recovered from Covid more than six months ago and received a single dose of the vaccine.
Work is also continuing to ensure that a combination of virus recovery and a single dose of vaccine is sufficient for an EU Covid passport. However, this decision is a matter for the European Union.