Information on influenza vaccinations
In Finland, the seasonal influenza epidemic usually starts at the turn of the year and lasts for 2–3 months. Vaccination is the best protection against seasonal influenza. The influenza vaccine protects against influenza and its sequelae, such as ear infection, bronchitis, pneumonia, myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular disorder.
If you have questions about vaccinations or want to give feedback, please contact the health centre in your municipality of residence. Alternatively, you can also contact us through our feedback form.
High-risk groups will be vaccinated free of charge. High-risk groups include:
- Personnel of social and health care as well as pharmaceutical services (participants in the immediate care of the client)
- Pregnant women
- Everyone aged 65 and above
- Children aged from 6 months to 6 years
- People belonging to high-risk groups because of an illness or treatment
- Men starting their national service and women starting voluntary military service
- People close to those most at risk of serious influenza
People who live or stay in institutional conditions for a long time, such as prison facilities and asylum centres, are also entitled to a free vaccination. Vaccinations for clients receiving regular home care will be carried out through their own home care service area. Vaccinations for 65-year-olds and older living in housing service units are administered by the housing service unit.
As a rule, belonging to a high-risk group is clear from the patient record and therefore a separate certificate of belonging to a high-risk group is not required.
Those not belonging to high-risk groups may request a vaccine prescription from their own health centre, occupational health care or school and student health care services. One purchases the vaccine oneself from a pharmacy, and it is administered at a health centre, child health clinic, student health care or occupational health care.
Municipalities in the Wellbeing Services County of Southwest Finland may have different practices. Please check the details of your municipality of residence separately.
Children at child health clinic age or at school age
If the egg allergy is mild or regular, and your child has not had a serious allergic reaction to egg, he/she may be vaccinated against influenza normally at the child health clinic or at school. Influenza vaccinations are recommended for children aged from 6 months to 6 years as well as for people at risk of serious influenza complications and the people close to them.
If your child has had a life-threatening reaction to egg in the past and has an adrenaline pen in use in case of a severe reaction, he/she may be vaccinated against influenza, but the vaccination is carried out in outpatient settings and there is a two-hour follow-up period after the vaccination.
If the egg allergy is mild or regular and you have not had a serious reaction to egg, you will be vaccinated against influenza normally.
If you have had a life-threatening reaction to egg in the past and you still have an adrenaline pen in use in case of a severe reaction, you can be vaccinated against influenza, but the follow-up period is two hours after the vaccination. If you belong to a group of people at risk of a serious influenza, influenza vaccination is recommended. If necessary, contact your own health centre to agree on the time of vaccination.
If you belong to the target group of the COVID-19 booster vaccinations, you may receive the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the influenza vaccine.
We recommend a booster dose for autumn/winter 2023 to
- everyone aged 65 and above
- people aged 18 years and above belonging to the high-risk groups
- people aged 12 years and above who are severely immunosuppressed.
During the period 2023–2024, seasonal influenza vaccines procured for the national vaccination programme are recommended for all persons at increased risk of contracting the avian influenza virus due to their work or other circumstances.
In addition to the usual target groups, we recommend seasonal influenza vaccination, for instance, to:
- persons in contact with poultry, in particular persons living and working on poultry holdings and veterinarians
- persons in contact with fur animals in fur farms
- persons involved in the treatment and disposal of sick and dead birds and animals and in the cleaning of the premises
- official veterinarians
- laboratory workers working on the sampling of avian influenza
- close contacts of a suspected or confirmed case of avian influenza.