Finnish Armed Forces Facing ‘Alarming’ Coronavirus Situation

Despite a rise in infections and cancelled international drills, the Finnish military is not eligible for prioritised vaccination and will follow the same vaccination schedule as everyone else.

Coronavirus infections within the Finnish Armed Forces rose considerably in February, which has been described as an alarming trend by experts.

Throughout the pandemic, the country’s military has registered about 400 coronavirus cases, with more than 70 people remaining infected as of now. One-third of the infections were diagnosed among staff, and two-thirds of infections were among conscripts.

At the end of September last year, only fifteen cases had been identified in the Finnish military.

According to Kuoppala, the situation in the military forces has changed due to strains of the virus in the Uusimaa region. The highest number of infections have been recorded in southern military units and subdivisions.

So far, the spread has been mostly limited to a single chain of infection within garrisons, whereas exposures are most often contained in one cabin housing up to a dozen people.

Another issue is that the Armed Forces are not eligible for prioritised vaccination. According to Kuoppala, the Armed Forces discussed getting their staff vaccinated as soon as possible with the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), however, the latter refused to make any special arrangement for soldiers. Not allowed to jump the vaccination queue, the military will follow the same vaccination…

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