Vaccinations in adulthood
Adults receive vaccinations under the national adult immunisation programme at health centres free of charge.
There are four vaccinations under the adult immunisation programme: one for diphtheria-tetanus (dT), one for polio (IPV), one for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), and one for influenza. Adults who did not receive vaccinations under the national immunisation programme when they were children or young adults may receive these vaccinations at a health centre.
It is not compulsory to have the vaccinations but it is recommended.
Yes. As an adult, you should ensure that you receive booster vaccinations in addition to the vaccinations you received when you were a child or young adult.
The most important booster is the one for diphtheria-tetanus. The booster must be taken at the age of 25, 45 and 65, and thereafter every 10 years. You may have it more frequently, if necessary; for example, in the event of accidents. Vaccinations are available at health centres.
In Finland, there is generally no need to have a polio booster vaccination if you are not travelling to risk areas or you will not be coming into contact with anyone arriving from a risk area.
You will need an MMR combination booster vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella if you did not receive it twice when you were a child. You do not need to be vaccinated if you have had these diseases.
In autumn and winter an influenza vaccination is available under the adult immunisation programme at your local health centre if you are 65 or over.
Vaccinations under the national immunisation programme are always free of charge to everyone. Boosters for adults under the programme are also always free. If you are under the age of 65 and basically healthy and if you want to have an influenza vaccination, you will pay the costs of it yourself.
You can check the vaccinations you have had using the vaccination card you received from the health centre. Details of vaccinations are now also available from the national patient information system, but there is no old vaccination information available there. Before there were electronic systems, details of vaccinations were only recorded on everyone’s own vaccination card, and the information on them was not transferred to the electronic patient information system. If your vaccination card is lost you may remember where you were given the vaccinations and can contact these places. You may also enquire at your health centre.
If you have moved to Finland from abroad, it may not be possible to check your vaccination details at all. The health care staff will ask you about vaccination protection, assess the situation and decide accordingly whether or not there is a need for additional vaccinations in Finland.
Adults in risk groups or those resident in risk areas are entitled to vaccinations for influenza, tick-borne encephalitis and hepatitis free of charge.
Influenza vaccinations are given to
- pregnant women
- those over the age of 65
- those in risk groups on account of illness or their treatment, and those coming into contact with them
- those called up for military service
- the staff employed in the social welfare and health care services and in medical treatment.
The vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis is administered for free to all people older than 3 years whose municipality of residence in Finland is one of the following and who live permanently in the municipality or spend at least four weeks in summer at a summer cabin or roaming in nature there:
- Southern parts of the town of Kemi
- Archipelago of Kotka
- Sammonlahti, Lappeenranta
- Southwestern risk zone of Lake Lohjanjärvi
- Island of Preiskari off Raahe
Vaccinations against hepatitis A and B are available free of charge to those with haemophilia or who inject drugs. The vaccination may also be available to
- relations of users of injected drugs
- people who share accommodation with users of injected drugs or their sexual partners
- men in a sexual relationship with a man.
The hepatitis B vaccination is also available free of charge to
- those with hepatitis B, their sexual partners carrying the virus
- those living in the same household
- trainee students at risk of infection
- sex workers
- people at risk of catching hepatitis B because of their exposure to blood outside work.
Patients who have received stem cell transplants are, following treatment, more prone than normal to many vaccine preventable diseases. Because of this their basic programme of vaccinations has to be begun again from the start following treatment. The vaccinations are free of charge for such patients.