We have gathered together on this page the most frequently asked questions about coronavirusvaccinations. (16/9/2021)

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

Turku residents over the age of 18 and those living in Turku can register for getting their first COVID-19 vaccine. 

1. Register for getting your first COVID-19 vaccine (myvaccine.turku.fi)

2. Book appointment via eTerveyspalvelut  (eTerveyspalvelut)

  • in Finnish or Swedish (you can find the login from the Swedish page)
  • over 16-year-olds

3. Book by phone City of Turku COVID-19 vaccination helpline, tel. +358 2 266 0159  (on weekdays from 8 am to 2 pm) 

  • Finnish, Swedish, English
  • PLEASE NOTE! If you are aged between 12 and 15 and in a risk group you have to book your time by telephone.
  • School Health Care Services of the City of Turku provide coronavirus vaccinations to all willing 12–15-year-old school children in the next few weeks. Vaccinations will be given at schools and at centralized locations.
  • Pop up corona vaccinations events in Turku

Can I book an appointment via eTerveyspalvelut/occupational health care services if I am already in line with myvaccine.turku.fi?
Yes you can book your time with any of these tree ways. If you have already received a vaccination appointment through your occupational health care services or eTerveyspalvelut, remember to delete your registration on the vaccination queue at myvaccine.turku.fi. If you have already been given an appointment, you can cancel it via the eHealthservices or by phone. This way we can use all the time slots available.

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?

  • From 16 August, 2021 the location for the vaccines will be Satakunnantie 105. 
  • Pop up corona vaccinations events in Turku
  • School Health Care Services of the City of Turku provide coronavirus vaccinations to all willing 12–15-year-old school children in the next few weeks. Vaccinations will be given at schools and at centralized locations.

What do I have to take into consideration when I arrive ? 

  • 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. 
  • 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 choose your vaccine. People vaccinated in Turku will be offered the BioNTech-Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine or the Moderna Spikevax vaccine. Both vaccines are mRNA vaccines.

  • Children and young people will be offered the BioNTech-Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine or the Moderna Spikevax vaccine. These are the only vaccines currently in use in Finland that are conditionally authorised for use in people 12 years of age or older. Both vaccines are mRNA vaccines.

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?
Currently, the mRNA vaccine dose interval is 12 weeks and can only be deviated from on an individual basis for a medically justified reason. These include cancer treatments, another disease/condition that seriously affects immunity, or major surgery. All COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in Finland require two vaccine doses.
The second dose for Astra Zeneca has been reduced to 8-12 weeks. If you need to change your appointment you can advance it. Remember that rebooking a time for a second dose needs to be done by phone. 

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. The current understanding is that the immunity after COVID-19 lasts for 6 months, so the coronavirus vaccination is not recommended until around six months after the infection, unless the state of health requires otherwise. The COVID-19 vaccine will not harm you if you have contracted COVID-19 without knowing it. If you know you have had COVID-19, you should wait, because the symptoms will be less severe after the vaccination and you will get the best protection. 

Do I have to wait if I have had another vaccine recently?

A grace period is no longer required with covid-19 vaccines or other vaccines, and all covid-19 vaccinations available in Finland can be given out at the same time as other vaccines in accordance with regular vaccination guidelines.  

Are the COVID-19 vaccines effective against mutated coronaviruses?
Based on current knowledge, current COVID-19 vaccines also provide protection against new viral variants, but the vaccines may be less effective against certain variants.

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?

  • The most typical symptoms after the injection include local symptoms at the site of injection, such as pain, redness, heat, and swelling.
  • Also very typical are transient general symptoms, such as fever reactions, muscle pain, headache, fatigue, irritability, nausea, and chills.
  • The expected symptoms, such as local reactions, are more common after the second dose. All vaccines can also cause severe allergic reactions but their occurrence is rare.
  • How many cases of adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines have been reported in Finland? -chart (Fimea)

How have undocumented persons been taken into consideration in the vaccination programme?  
Undocumented people will receive their vaccines when it is their age group's turn to be vaccinated.

Is vaccination necessary for those who have already had the coronavirus?

Only one vaccine dose instead of two may be administered to patients who have had a coronavirus dis-ease confirmed by a laboratory test. According to studies, a person who has had the disease gets at least the same level of protection from one dose as others do from two doses.

According to current data, the second vaccine dose at the current dose intervals no longer improves the protection provided by a single dose in those who have had the disease. If a person who has received one vaccine dose is infected with coronavirus after receiving the first vaccine dose, there is no need to take another vaccine dose anymore. At a later stage, it will be decided whether additional booster doses will be needed in the future.

To get corona passport, you will need to take two vaccines.

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) 
Risk groups  with the under 16 year-olds are the same exept for the morbid obesity when ISO-BMI is 35 or over. For children aged 12 to 15, it is recommended to use ISO-BMI, the body mass index for children, as it takes into account the physical proportions of children and their changes with growth and age. The ISO- BMI weight index is calculated using age, height and weight and can be calculated with the following calculator:Children's body mass index (ISO-BMI) calculator (in Finnish)

How do I prove that I belong to a risk group?

  • By specifying which risk group you belong to when you register. 
  • With a Kela card if it has a record of your illness, e.g., medication details.
  • With a doctor’s certificate, a printout of the state of your health from My Kanta service or other document that certifies that you belong to the risk group.
  • The entry can also be checked in the patient information system at the vaccination appointment.
  • If you belong to the 2. risk group because your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher (35 or higher with people aged between 12 and 15 years), you can enter your body mass index as the reason for the vaccine when you register. It is sufficient to show the calculation of your body mass index on arrival. 

When will I be considered to belong to the age group of people over 12?

Your age group is determined on the basis of the day – not year – you were born. For instance, on the day you turn 12 you will belong to the age group of people over 12. 

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?

Studies on vaccinations on pregnant people and user experiences do not indicate a safety risk. A pregnant person can, therefore, take a covid-19 vaccine and be vaccinated in accordance with their age group. It is possible to take the second dose of the vaccine during pregnancy, if the first dose was taken before pregnancy. Maternity clinics will provide additional information.  

Will children be vaccinated against COVID-19?

Second dose of the vaccination

Where can I book an appointment for the second dose?

  • You will receive the second vaccination appointment at the first vaccination, so you do not have to book it separately.
  • If you have received your vaccine through housing or care services, you will be notified about the second dose through them.
  • If you need to reschedule the second dose appointment due to illness or work-related reasons, cancel your appointment first and then book another appointment by calling the COVID-19 vaccination helpline.

Where can I check when my second dose appointment is?

You can check your second dose appointment at the website of the health care e-Services.

When can I get the second vaccination?

According to the THL guideline, the 12-week interval between doses of the mRNA vaccine may be shortened at local discretion if vaccine availability in the area is sufficient and shortening the dosing interval does not delay anyone else from receiving their first dose. As of the 16th of August, new appointments for the 2nd vaccine dose will be set 8-10 weeks from the first. Those who have previously received a vaccination appointment according to the 12-week interval can shorten the interval period to eight weeks from August 30th (week 35) onward. Those who have previously received a vaccination appointment cannot yet advance their vaccination appointment. New appointments will become available for booking at eTerveyspalvelut at the end of August. In addition, Pop-up vaccination events will also be organised during the coming fall and those seeking their 2nd dose can attend as well.

I have to cancel my second dose appointment, where can I book a new one?

After you have cancelled your appointment, you can book a new one by calling the COVID-19 vaccination helpline. Only the first vaccination appointments can be booked online.

If the time of vaccination appointment offered to you by SMS is not suitable and you need to cancel it, you can choose one of these two methods: 

Through eHealth services at turku.fi/eterveyspalvelut 24 hours before the appointment at the latest. Strong identification with online banking credentials is required.

By calling the City of Turku COVID-19 vaccination helpline, tel. +358 2 266 0159 (open Mon-Fri between 8 am and 2 pm). Please leave a voice mail message including your name, date of birth and the vaccination appointment you wish to cancel. You can call 24/7 to leave a voice mail message.

After cancellation, can you book a new vaccination appointment by calling the City of Turku COVID-19 vaccination helpline, tel. +358 2 266 0159, open Mon-Fri between 8 am and 2 pm. You cannot postpone the appointment received by text message. You must cancel it and then make a new appointment

Only the first vaccination appointments can be booked online. In case of the second dose, you can change your appointment by calling the COVID-19 vaccination helpline.

If I got my vaccines abroad what do I need to do?

  • If someone has received a first-dose covid-19 vaccine outside of Finland and the particular vaccine is used in Finland, the second dose of the same vaccine can be used.  
  • If someone has been given one dose of a vaccine and the type of vaccine is unknown, the second dose given in Finland will be the particular vaccine intended for the person’s age group 12 weeks after receiving their dose abroad.  
  • If someone has received a full set of vaccinations of a vaccine that is used in the EU, the person will have received their vaccination in full, and they will no longer require to be vaccinated in Finland. One dose of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine is sufficient. If someone has been given two doses of the Sputnik vaccine, their vaccination set is also complete. If someone has been given a full set of another vaccine that is not used in the EU, their situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  

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.

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. 

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.

I need a proof of vaccination for traveling. What do I do?

  • The EU Digital COVID Certificate, which is available in the My Kanta Pages, will also include a test certificate and a certificate of recovery as of 14 July. The EU COVID-19 vaccination certificate has been available in the My Kanta Pages since 22 June. (When leaving the country you need to test in a private healthcare facility but when arriving to Finland your test is free)
  • Persons who are not using My Kanta Pages can obtain another certificate of a COVID-19 vaccination from the healthcare service. Don't contact the Coronavaccination helpline for this but ask it from your healtcare station. Later in July, the healthcare services will deploy a service that enables printing out EU vaccination certificates for persons who are not using My Kanta Pages. 

Read more from My Kanta.

Can I be placed in a quarentine after I have gotten my vaccine?
Quarantine practices to change for people who have been vaccinated or have contracted COVID-19

On 18 May, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare has amended its guidelines on quarantine practices for those who have been vaccinated or have contracted COVID-19. In the future, a person exposed to the coronavirus will not be quarantined in the following cases:

  • The person has received both doses and at least one week has passed since the second dose
  • The person has received the first dose within 6 months of being diagnosed with the coronavirus infection and at least one week has passed since the vaccination
  • The person has a doctor’s certificate for a coronavirus infection diagnosed less than 6 months ago.

Your infectious disease doctor may decide otherwise in the assessment, and factors that may affect the effectiveness of the vaccine must be taken into account. The factors include the local mutant strain situation, age and underlying health conditions. The amended quarantine guidelines also apply to social and health care professionals.

Read also : A national COVID-19 vaccination certificate will be added to the My Kanta service on 26 May

What symptoms can you have after vaccination?

Like all medicines, this vaccine can cause side effects. Most of the symptoms are mild and short-lived, and only a small percentage of vaccinated people get them.

Possible symptoms

  • General symptoms: headache, joint and muscle pain, fever, chills, tiredness or nausea
  • Local symptoms at the injection site: heat, redness, swelling, pain, itching or rash
  • Local swelling of lymph nodes may occur.
  • Other adverse effects are rare.

General and local symptoms usually pass in a few days. An extensive local reaction may last longer.That does not usually indicate an allergy, however. 

How many cases of adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines have been reported in Finland? -chart (Fimea)

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.