Minister calls for faster vaccine delivery from EU
Minister of Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru (SDP) has written to the EU’s Health Commissioner calling for pressure on manufacturers to speed up delivery of vaccines. In her letter, Kiuru tells Stella Kyriakides that she doesn’t accept a scenario where it’s been possible to deliver doses of vaccines beyond the EU, while deliveries to EU countries are moving slowly. Kiuru says that so far the EU has delivered just over 50% of the vaccines they ordered and promised to Finland – leading to criticism at home about the slow pace of the vaccination rollout programme. European regulators have given approval for two coronavirus vaccines so far, but only one of them – developed by BioNtech and Pfizer – is currently being used. Finland expects to receive more than six million doses of the vaccines but less than 100,000 doses have arrived. Finland joined other countries in an EU-wide bulk procurement order, and did not independently order any other vaccines.
Survey: Finns’ trust in decision-makers is increasing
Finns’ trust in political decision-makers at all levels has increased according to a new survey from the Municipal Sector Development Foundation. The strongest levels of trust, 46% is felt in national level decision-makers. In a survey conducted four years ago that level of trust was just 26%. Closer to home, municipal decision-makers receive 45% trust from respondents, up from 33% in the survey four years ago. And they survey finds trust is not just increasing domestically but at EU level as well. The research was carried out by Kantar TNS with 4,500 Finns questioned last November.
New koronavilkku version links EU apps
The latest version of Finland’s koronavilkku track and trace app has been released, allowing more communication with other EU applications. Anyone using koronavilkku will get a notification of possible exposure, even if the person reporting the infection using another EU country’s coronavirus application. Similarly, Finnish coronavirus users can alert other people using EU apps in case of suspected exposure to the virus. No identifying information is passed between the various countries, and it’s up to the app users themselves if they want to share a notice about their exposure. Finland’s koronavilkku app now works with Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Lavtia, Croatia, Denmark, Netherlands and Poland. Most phones update apps automatically but THL recommends going to the Apple App Store or Google Play to check you’ve got the latest 2.0 version of koronavilkku on your phone.
Snowy weather means increased sledge sales!
Wintry weather across the country has, perhaps unsurprisingly, boosted sales of sledges! Representatives from S-Group, Kesko and Tokmanni tell Iltalehti that sales of winter sports equipment have increased since Christmas with sales of sledged up 12 times higher than the year before. “The arrival of winter in the south has led people in large numbers to practice winter sports” S-Group sales manager Jussi Viitanen tells the newspaper. The sales of skis are up five-fold, while sales of ice skates have also doubled according to the paper. While sales of winter sports equipment are up across the country, there’s been a particular rise in the south as snow moved in since the turn of the new year.
Friday morning weather
Wintry conditions continue on Friday across the whole country with all parts of Finland waking up to sub-zero temperatures and many places with snow. As the day goes on cloud cover clears away and temperatures will drop across the south overnight into Saturday morning, but it leads to sunnier weather for the weekend.