One of the ways to fight the beginning flu season is to take a vaccine.
In Finland, getting vaccines is not compulsory but according to Harri Saxén from the University of Helsinki, “Everyone goes to get them, regardless of income level, and the staff are outstanding.”
Despite growing numbers of people opposed to vaccines in other countries, Finland has managed to cover more than 95 percent of its population. With this, the country spends less on costly treatments and invests in preventive medicine instead.
Children and teenagers are not the only ones offered vaccines. Risk groups, including adults of over 65 can also get the influenza vaccine, as well as one for hepatitis and tuberculosis. And what about asylum seekers?
According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, “Adult asylum seekers are entitled to urgent healthcare services and minor asylum seekers are entitled to the same health care services as local people.”
Furthermore, all children refugees under the age of seven are vaccinated. These measures aim to prevent the spread of diseases coming from aboard, as well as to protect the youngest sector of the population.
I find it very interesting that a year ago, the chickenpox vaccine was added to the national vaccination program, which means that pretty much all Finnish kids under 11 years old have now acquired the vaccine free of charge at their welfare clinic.
New additions to the vaccination program might be in store in the future as it has proved effective so far. With wide national coverage, Finland sets an example of how an efficient and free of charge vaccination program can be the key to eradicate diseases that have caused not only thousands of euros in treatment but fatal consequences for families.