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Comment: Why is THL sluggish for regional vaccine weighting? “We let dozens, even hundreds die in Uusimaa and Southwest Finland” – Finland

One week ago, KRAR Secretary Hanna Nohynek said a change in the vaccine schedule would reduce hospital-requiring corona cases by a fifth. According to THL’s statement on Friday, this fifth was only “somewhat”, wonders news manager Riika Kuuskoski.

The debate over the order of coronary vaccinations revolved strangely around Friday. Last week, the National Vaccination Expert Group (KRAR) appointed by THL ended up proposing an emphasis on coronary vaccinations in the worst epidemic areas – “on medical and epidemiological grounds,” as the bulletin on THL’s website says. According to IS, KRAR was almost unanimous: only one member disagreed, one of THL’s representatives.

“In high-incidence areas, the increase in the number of inpatient and intensive care patients threatens the carrying capacity of health care,” explained KRAR Chairman, Professor Ville Peltola.

KRAR also had to offer a model for distributing vaccines – based on the population of each hospital district, the number of infections in previous weeks, and the number of hospital admissions. The regional weighting could have started up to 3-4 weeks after the change in the vaccination regulation.

“If we distributed vaccines according to the model, we would reduce the number of serious cases requiring hospitalization across the country in the future by an estimated one-fifth more than the current model by the time the first adult vaccine is offered. At the same time, vaccinations would be continued throughout the country and the delay caused by the emphasis in low-risk areas would remain reasonable, ”said THL’s chief physician, KRAR’s secretary. Hanna Nohynek according to the bulletin.

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On Wednesday, the IS reported that the government had reached the position of KRARI and had prepared for a change in the vaccine order with the idea that after vaccination of risk groups, vaccines would be focused on the worst risk areas, ie in practice the metropolitan area. On Thursday, the Prime Minister in the interest rate information of the Prime Minister Sanna Marin said this aloud.

Therefore, THL Friday’s statement on regional targeting seems surprisingly sluggish. Yes, the agency has calculated that when the weight of the components of the KRARIN model were one-third of each, “557 more hospitalizations will be blocked if vaccinations can be started in 100,000 weeks. Correspondingly, 378 more hospitalizations are blocked if vaccinations can be started in 150,000 weeks and 285 more if vaccinations can be started in 200,000 weeks ”. The numbers are remarkable – for those hospital patients who go into intensive care, who in the fifth die.

KRARIN member Taneli Puumalainen prepared by Markku Tervahaudan and Mika Salmisen The summary of the signed statement is surprising against these figures: Emphasizing distribution according to the proposed model is unlikely to have a significant impact on the progress of the epidemic. ”

“Some”? The researcher who did the calculation also photographed Teemu Muhonen in the story To Helsingin Sanomat significant impact on hospital sites.

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In its statement, THL believes that enough vaccines will be available anyway. One-off vaccines could perhaps be distributed with an emphasis on regions.

THL had asked for a position on hospital districts. Eight of them opposed and two supported, Hus and Päijät-Häme. After all, the answer was missing or had been interpreted as conditional. “Changes in vaccine distribution cause a lot of extra work,” was one argument against opposing the change.

The worst the emphasis on epidemic areas can be justified by the Equality Act: the law speaks of “positive special treatment” when the aim is to promote de facto equality. The risks of living in a bad epidemic could be offset by emphasizing vaccinations.

The CEO of Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District Hus has spoken most loudly in favor of the regional emphasis on vaccinations. Juha Tuominen, who raised the issue in an IS interview at the end of January. Korona has hit the Hus area hardest.

“Given the persistent differences in infection rates between regions, the question arises as to whether the equality and health promotion guaranteed by the Constitution for citizens will be achieved if society does not use the means at its disposal to protect the risks, even lives, of greater people,” Tuominen wrote in a Friday column. In the media.

“The end result may be that we let dozens, even hundreds, die in Uusimaa and Southwest Finland, where Korona is raging – even if it is avoidable,” Tuominen continued.

Vaccine order next considered by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the government. The THL statement left the game in a warmer situation where politicians could end up doing anything based on the THL statement. Or omitting to do anything that might fit the provincial center very well.

Friday night, a few hours after the distribution of the THL statement, the chairman of the center Annika Saarikko was over Berry Sannikka in the program. He spoke – talking about village schools – how the center has been on the side of the rural population.

Party MP Mikko Kärnä recorded on Twitter to comment on THL’s statement: “The debate on concentrating vaccination in the metropolitan area should now end. There is no reason to do so. “

– Regional policy rolled out health policy, said Tuominen, CEO of Hus, in an IS interview at the end of January.

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