Finland to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination from healthcare workers

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Syringes with AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are pictured in Laakso hospital in Helsinki, Finland March 11, 2021. REUTERS/Essi Lehto

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HELSINKI, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Finland plans to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for health and social care workers, the government said on Wednesday.

The new legislation would also allow social and health care employers to access information about employees' COVID-19 vaccinations and possible infections in the past.

"This regulation would make it possible to ensure the health and safety of social and healthcare workers and thus the availability of services, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru told a news conference.

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Workers that cannot be vaccinated because of a medical reason could be exempted if they took a COVID-19 test, says the government proposal that will still be subject to parliament vote.

Despite seeing daily infections surge towards Christmas, Finland remains among the countries least affected by the pandemic.

The Nordic nation of 5.5 million people has to date recorded 197,476 cases and 1,389 deaths and has vaccinated 81.8% of people that are 12 years or older with two vaccine doses.

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Reporting by Essi Lehto; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Angus MacSwan

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