Avian flu vaccine to be offered to risk group

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Avian flu vaccine to be offered to risk group

Avian influenza vaccines will be offered to people who may be exposed to avian influenza. Vaccinations are scheduled to start as soon as possible, said the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in a press release on Thursday.

Finland will receive vaccines as part of the EU’s joint procurement, in which 15 countries are taking part.

The framework contract was signed by the EU’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) on behalf of the participating Member States.

The avian influenza vaccine was developed by the pharmaceutical company Seqirus UK Ltd, and the contract for the supply of this vaccine will run for four years.

The countries participating in the joint procurement will order vaccines depending on their national need.

The vaccine is intended for poultry and fur farm workers, veterinarians and other people who are at high risk of being infected with avian influenza.

Based on a risk assessment, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) will determine the groups of people for whom the vaccine is recommended.

The vaccine aims to prevent avian influenza infections and the severe forms of the disease.

The THL will provide more information on avian influenza vaccinations soon. The wellbeing services counties are responsible for organising the vaccinations and providing information at the local level, whereas the Finnish Medicines Agency (FMA) and the THL are responsible for monitoring the safety of vaccines.

Avian influenza A(H5N1) circulated extensively among wild birds throughout Europe in 2020–2023.

In Finland, the A(H5N1) virus caused exceptionally large mass deaths of wild birds and infections among farmed fur animals in summer 2023.

So far, no avian influenza infections have been detected in humans in Finland. Avian influenza can be transmitted to humans by infected or dead animals or their secretions or faeces.

However, the avian influenza virus is poorly transmitted to humans, and in general, very few cases of infection occur.

The Finnish Food Authority monitors the occurrence of avian influenza in wild birds in Finland and works to prevent the spread of the disease on farms.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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