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(Adds statements by officials, quote on blood clots)
HELSINKI, April 14 (Reuters) - Finland said on Wednesday people aged under 65 who got a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot may get a different vaccine for their second dose, as authorities warned about delays to the country's roll-out.
The Institute of Health and Welfare said it was possible to give a second dose from another manufacturer to people aged under 65 who have already been given AstraZeneca and are scheduled to receive a second dose in the coming weeks.
It's the third country after France and Germany to consider mixing vaccines as they limit the use of the AstraZeneca shot amid concerns about blood clots.
"We have no reason to expect adverse health effects after giving the second dose from a different manufacturer," said Miia Kontio from the Finnish health institute.
Finland will soon have a significant surplus of AstraZeneca vaccinations, Kontio said, and officials added they had not decided what to do with them.
"When I checked at the beginning of this week, 400,000 people aged 65 and over were waiting to be vaccinated and we will be getting 1.2 million doses by end of June,” Kontio said.
Finnish authorities also confirmed on Wednesday that they will continue to restrict the use of the shot to people aged 65 and over.
"We will continue vaccinating people aged 65 and over with the (AstraZeneca) vaccine, because for them no increased risk of rare blood clots has been detected after the vaccination," chief physician Hanna Nohynek said in a statement.
On March 19 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-finland-vaccinatio/finland-suspends-use-of-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-idUSKBN2BB1PY, Finland suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The health institute said later it could be given to people aged 65 and older while research into the effects on younger people continued.
More than a dozen countries round the world including Australia, France and South Korea have limited the use of the shot to certain age groups after European and British regulators said they had found a possible link between the vaccine and a handful of cases of a rare blood clotting problem.
The European Medicines Agency has recommended AstraZeneca's vaccine, saying the benefits outweigh the risks. On Wednesday, Danish authorities said they were dropping AstraZeneca.
Finland has seen three cases of rare blood clotting, two in the brain and one elsewhere, chief physician Maija Kaukonen from the Finnish Medicines Agency told a news conference.
"Two patients are recovering but one has unfortunately passed away," she added.
Of Finland's 5.5 million population, 1.19 million have so far received a first vaccination dose.
Wednesday's decision will delay the Finnish COVID vaccination schedule, Finnish health ministry officials said, as it comes on top of a delay in vaccine deliveries https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-johnson-johnson-eu-idINKBN2C01UM announced on Tuesday by U.S. drug maker Johnson & Johnson . (Reporting by Essi Lehto; Editing by Giles Elgood)