A new survey by MTV News finds a large number of Finns have doubts about getting a coronavirus vaccine, with just over a third completely sure about getting the inoculation.
There’s particular high levels of doubt among young people, worried about the side effects and whether the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.
More than a third of people who took part in the survey said they would definitely take the vaccine, with men a little more keen than women.
Some 40% of men who replied to the survey said they were confident about taking the vaccine, while 30% of women felt the same way and in general the older the respondent, the more likely they were to want to be inoculated.
The survey interviewed 1,237 people between 26th and 30th November. The margin of error is 2.7 percentage points in either direction.
New vaccines on the way
The results of the MTV survey come as public health officials in Finland say the first Covid-19 vaccines could get the green light from European authorities before the end of the year.
Speaking at a Tuesday morning press conference, officials said that regulatory authorisation for some of the six vaccines purchased in bulk by the EU for Member States could be expected around Christmas or New Year.
“We are now awaiting these marketing authorizations, after which the next phase of acquisition will begin” said Sari Ekholm, Chief Physician at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health STM.
That timeline means that vaccinations will probably begin in the new year, with doses of the new drugs arriving in several batches.
The start of Finland’s domestic vaccination programme, where everyone will be offered the inoculation for free, depends on when the new vaccines arrive. Other factors, like whether municipalities have the right facilities for deep cold storage of one of the vaccines, will play a part in the roll-out strategy.
The first people to get one of the first vaccines likely to receive early regulatory approval, from Pfizer-Biontch, Moderna or Astra Zeneca, will be frontline medical staff treating coronavirus patients; the elderly and those most at risk for developing serious Covid-19 infections are also likely to be included in the first wave of vaccines.