Thursday’s papers: Booster update, teenage drivers and warm weekend

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The Minister of Family and Social Affairs said municipalities can determine which groups receive a fourth dose of the Covid vaccine.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Minister of Family and Social Services Krista Kiuru (SDP) announced her ministry’s plans to expand the fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

Tampere-based Aamulehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun) message about the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Krista Kiuru (SDP), announcing the expanded availability of Covid-19 booster vaccines.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Kiuru said the ministry’s recommendation was to offer fourth doses to those whose vaccination is deemed justified by a doctor.

Municipalities, and soon service regions, can also determine to which groups of people they will offer doses of the vaccine, for example in healthcare.

“Municipalities or welfare regions can decide whether to follow the current recommendations of the Institute of Health and Welfare (THL). While the ministry’s Covid-19 working group has outlined that vaccines can be provided to people working in the healthcare sector, it is may not all providers do this for one reason or another,” Kiuru said.

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Kiuru added that her ministry is working on an even broader rollout of the fourth dose of vaccine that would cover most of the country, following her statements last month.

THL announced in October that it will not change its vaccination advice for the time being. Currently, the institute recommends vaccines for people over the age of 65 and people who belong to risk groups over the age of 18.

Kiuru said he hopes the healthcare sector will soon be involved in Covid-19 vaccination while also administering both Covid-19 and flu vaccines at the same time.

Teen driver expansion is delayed

Keskisuomalainen (siirryt toiseen palveluun) reported that a reform to lower the driving age to 17 could be delayed until next year.

Suna Kymälainen (SPD), parliament chair of the Transport and Communications Committee, told Uutissuomalainen that it is being delayed because the committee’s report is still in preparation. Initially, the new law was to come into effect in early October.

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Parliament does not approve or reject a bill until the committee’s report is ready.

According to Kymäläinen, the report could be postponed until the opening of Parliament’s spring session, which starts on February 4.

Uutissuomalainen reported Monday, based on information from the National Police Council, that 17-year-olds with a driving license waiver of the law are more likely to be guilty of aggravating road safety than their peers a year or two older.

In August, the Finnish Road Safety Council said it would be a mistake to lower the age limit.

In early May, the government proposed a law that would give 17-year-olds a limited right to drive in Category B with a guardian’s permission. At this point, a 17-year-old needs a legal waiver permit to get a car driver’s license.

Under the government’s proposal, a 17-year-old should not be allowed to drive between midnight and 5 a.m.

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Not quite November weather in Finland

Iltalehtic (siirryt toiseen palveluun) reported that the end of the week is forecast with exceptionally warm temperatures.

While November in Finland is typically depicted as chilly and gray, IL noted that Foreca predicted the weather in certain parts of the country would become exceptionally warm and sunny.

“According to the current forecast, daytime temperatures in the south and west of the country will rise between 9 and 13 degrees Celsius on Friday, with temperatures reaching 14 to 15 degrees Celsius in Åland,” said meteorologist Anna Latvala.

On the other hand, the heat will not be felt across the country as parts of Lapland have up to 15 centimeters of snow falling.

With projected weather systems running through the weekend, Sunday — Father’s Day in Finland — appears to be the least rainy day of the week.

However, the warm weather is not expected to last.

“It will also largely freeze in southern Finland by Tuesday morning. Compared to the weekend, the start of the week will be much cooler,” says meteorologist Foreca. Juha Fohr told IL.