We have gathered together on this page the most frequently asked questions about coronavirusvaccinations. (15/2/2021)

Coronavirusvaccinations in Turku

What does COVID-19 vaccine cost?
COVID-19 vaccines are free for all people living in Finland.

When do we know about the vaccination schedules in Turku? When can ou book a time for the vaccine?
All info about vaccinations and how to book your time can be found at Coronavirus Vaccinations in Turku

Select your group below to find more information about COVID-19 vaccinations:

Do I have to be a municipal citizen in the municipality where I book a vaccination appointment?  
Turku vaccinates municipal citizens and people who have selected Turku as their health service point. The number of vaccines received by municipalities depends on the number of inhabitants. For instance, the number of vaccines that will be received by Turku for vaccinating elderly people is proportional to the number of elderly inhabitants in Turku.  

Do I have to book my own vaccination appointment or will I just be informed about the time of my vaccination?  

  • People over 85 years of age will have a vaccination appointment booked for them and they will be personally contacted.
  • People aged under 85 must book their own vaccination appointment once the booking system opens. 
  • People with impaired hearing or deafness can book a vaccination appointment either through the online booking system or through the text message service of health stations. 
  • People aged over 70 and family caregivers living in the same household or the spouse of the elderly person can be vaccinated at the same time.

How will elderly people with deafness be contacted if invitations to vaccination are made by phone? 
People with impaired hearing and deafness can book a vaccination appointment either through the booking system online or through the text message service of health stations. 

Do I have to book a vaccination appointment or can I come up without booking appointment once extensive vaccinations of the population have started? 
It is always necessary to have an appointment pre-booked for vaccination. Vaccines arrive in groups and the booking system helps in making sure that vaccines are offered to as many people as possible and that there are enough vaccines for everyone who have booked an appointment. Another important reason for the booking system is coronavirus precautions. When vaccination appointments are booked in advance, safety distances can be kept in Turku Fair Center and crowding can be avoided. 

Where do I go to get the vaccination?

  • Vaccination point in Turku is Turku Fair Center
  • People aged over 85 are vaccinated either in Turku Fair Center or at health stations.

How will I arrive at Turku Fair Center? 
You can arrive at Turku Fair Center (address Messukentänkatu 9–13) by bus or by your own car. For those arriving by car, there are several parking spaces free of charge available in the proximity of Turku Fair Center. Bus number 100 begins to operate between the city centre and Turku Fair Center on Friday 12 February. The timetable can be found on the website in connection with information on coronavirus vaccinations. More info: Take line 100 to access coronavirus vaccinations starting from 12 February

What do I have to take into consideration when I arrive at Turku Fair Center? 

  • Only come for your vaccination if you are well. 
  • Keep safety distances and maintain good hand hygiene. 
  • Wear a face mask both when you arrive and inside Turku Fair Center. 
  • Persons in medical risk group 1 and 2 must be prepared to justify at Turku Fair Center that they belong to a medical risk group: for instance, present a Kela card, a medical certificate or a marking in the patient information system. 
  • Arrive as punctually as possible (you can get inside exactly 15 minutes before your appointment, not earlier) 
  • Bring your Kela card with you. 
  • Wear a shirt that you can easily take off. 
  • Be prepared to stay at the vaccination site for approximately 15 minutes after vaccination. 

Information about the COVID-19 vaccines

Is the COVID-19 vaccination voluntary?
COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary and free of charge for all – including health care personnel. 

Can I select the vaccine and which vaccines are used in Turku? 
You can’t select the type of COVID-19 vaccine you are given. National recommendations will be applied. At the moment, the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine and the upcoming Moderna vaccine are used to vaccinate people aged over 70. The Astra Zeneca vaccine is used to vaccinate people aged between 18 and 69. 
The booster dose will always be the same type of vaccine you received before. For instance, working-age people who worked in social and health care when they received their first dose will receive their second dose of BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine. 
The vaccines currently in use 

  • BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine COVID-19-mRNA, people over 70 years of age 
  • Astra Zeneca vaccine, people aged between 18 and 69

What is mRNA vaccine?
Previous vaccines have been based on the fact that they contain an antigen as an active substance. The antigen could be a part of a certain virus, for example. A vaccine aims to induce immunity especially against the specific point at which the virus attaches to the host cell.
RNA vaccines contain messenger RNA (mRNA). Because of the mRNA, the muscle cells at the injection site start to produce an active substance, in this case a surface protein of the COVID-19 virus.
The mRNA contained in the vaccines is produced synthetically in laboratories. No animal or human cells are needed for the production. The vaccine does not contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease or even parts of that virus. 

When do I get the second dose?
The national expert group on vaccine administration stated on 3 February that, in the current epidemic situation, the gap between the first and the second dose of all COVID-19 vaccines used in Finland (Moderna and Comirnaty of Pfizer) should be extended to 12 weeks. Extending the gap between doses is based on epidemiological and immunological reasons. For all COVID-19 vaccines used in Finland at the moment, two doses of vaccine are required. Moving to a gap of 12 weeks between the first and second dose gives the vaccinated person better protection against the virus as the immunity produced by the body has more time to grow stronger. 

If I have had coronavirus without knowing it and I get vaccinated, can the antibodies cause a risk? 
The COVID-19 vaccine will not cause any harm even if you have been ill with coronavirus without knowing. If you know that you have had coronavirus, it is recommended that you wait at least 6 months after falling ill before you get vaccinated.   

How long does it take for the COVID-19 vaccine to work after vaccination and how long will the protection provided by the vaccine last?
The body’s immune system is activated immediately after the vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccine is administered in two doses. Just before the second injection, i.e. 3–4 weeks after the first injection, the effectiveness of the vaccines has been approximately 50%. This means that another dose is needed to ensure as high and long-term effectiveness as possible.
The duration of immunity offered by corona vaccines is not yet known, as the vaccines under development have not been used for a long time yet. As knowledge accumulates, we will also know better the need for possible booster vaccinations. 

Is the vaccine safe? 
Coronavirus vaccines are evaluated on the same quality, safety and efficacy criteria as other medicines. The authorities for medicinal products only grant a marketing authorisation to a vaccine that has been scientifically demonstrated to be both effective and safe. Safety is also monitored after the vaccine is in the market.
Coronavirus vaccines are being developed at an unprecedented rate, and an enormous amount of resources has been allocated to their development around the world. In a normal situation, the trial phases take place one after another, but now the phases have been performed in parallel to save time.

What symptoms can you have after vaccination?

How have undocumented persons been taken into consideration in the vaccination programme?  
For the part of undocumented persons, national instructions that are currently being prepared will apply.

Risk groups

What high-risk groups is the coronavirus vaccine recommended for?

Age is the most important risk factor for serious coronavirus disease. For that reason, the vaccine is recommended for the elderly.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare has updated the vaccination order of people in high-risk groups on 5 February 2021. 
Group 1: Persons with an illness or condition that poses an extremely great risk of severe coronavirus disease Organ transplant or stem cell transplant, cancer under active treatment, a severe disturbance of the body's defence system, a serious chronic renal illness, a serious chronic pulmonary illness, type 2 diabetes involving drug therapy, Down syndrome (adults) 
Group 2:  Persons with an illness or condition that poses a risk of severe coronavirus disease. 
Asthma requiring continuous medication, a difficult cardiac disease, including insufficiency (but not mere hypertension), cerebral infarction or other neurological illness or condition affecting respiration, pharmaceutical treatment for autoimmune disease that weakens immune defences, serious chronic liver disease, type 1 diabetes or adrenal insufficiency, severe sleep apnoea, psychosis, morbid obesity (body mass index 40 or more) 
The spouse of a person in a high-risk group or a person living in the same household with a person that is in a high-risk group is not included in the same vaccination group. Only persons in high-risk groups themselves are included. 

If I am part of a risk group, but it is not listed above, when do I get my vaccine?
When more information becomes available about the new COVID-19 vaccines, their marketing authorisations and their supply to Finland, the assessment of medical risk groups will be continued.  At the same time, the list can be specified to divide people with underlying conditions to several groups based on the magnitude of the risk.

In addition, the priority listing for social welfare and health care professionals and the rest of the population can be clarified.

When will I be considered to belong to the age group of people over 70?
Your age group is determined on the basis of the day – not year – you were born. For instance, on the day you turn 70 you will belong to the age group of people over 70. The booster dose will always be the same type of vaccine that was used for the first dose.

Can I take the vaccine if I am allergic?

  • It is exceedingly rare for anyone to be unable to take the vaccine. If the vaccine causes an immediate, serious allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis, a second vaccine, or other corona vaccine preparation containing the same components, will not be administered.
  • The mRNA vaccine does not contain any ingredient of plant or animal origin. Those allergic to pollen, and certain foods can I take the coronavirus vaccine.
  • You can have the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine even if you are allergic to eggs. The mRNA vaccines do not contain any egg proteins.
  • mRNA vaccines: FAQ

Can you get a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant?
Due to limited research data, vaccination of pregnant women should be based on individual assessment for the moment. The new mRNA COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live viruses or parts of the virus but they have not been systematically studied among people who are pregnant. The attending physician may, at their discretion, recommend a mRNA vaccination during pregnancy provided that the person is willing to be vaccinated and belongs to a risk group for COVID-19 due to an underlying condition or has a significant risk of being exposed to the virus at work, for example.

Will children be vaccinated against COVID-19?
The mRNA vaccine first introduced is intended for the vaccination of over 16-year-olds, and the second mRNA vaccine authorised is intended for the vaccination of over 18-year-olds. Vaccination of younger children against COVID-19 is not relevant until we have enough research data on the vaccination of children.

After vaccination

Do those who have taken the coronavirus vaccine still need to practice social distancing and wear masks?
After vaccination it is still important to maintain distancing, to exercise good hand and cough hygiene, to use face masks when social distancing is not possible, to be tested when symptoms emerge, and to follow other instructions in fighting the coronavirus. 

What can I do after vaccination?
You can usually continue your everyday life as normal after vaccination. For instance, there is no need to avoid exercise or going to sauna.

Can I get coronavirus from the vaccine?
You cannot get coronavirus from the vaccine. Fever and higher temperature than normal may be caused by the vaccine but they can also be symptoms of coronavirus. That is why you should stay home until you haven’t had fever for 24 hours (without having to use fever-reducing medicine). If you have temperature for more than 3 days or if you also develop other symptoms matching coronavirus, get tested for coronavirus.

What symptoms can you have after vaccination?

What should I do I suspect that I’m experiencing adverse effects?  
If you notice after vaccination that you are experiencing an adverse effect that has not been included in the list of common adverse effects, please contact City of Turku COVID-19 vaccination helpline, tel. +358 2 266 0159  (on weekdays from 8 am to 2 pm). You will be redirected to a professional who interviews you and forwards your information to Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea.