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Sweden to offer free swine flu vaccine for all

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Sweden to offer free swine flu vaccine for all
10:59 CEST+02:00
The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) is set to recommend that the swine flu vaccine is issued free of charge for all.

SKL's healthcare delegation were unanimous in reaching their decision on Thursday. The formal decision will be confirmed by SKL's board on Friday.

"Everything points to the vaccine being free of charge. This is my position and I think that we are together on this one," said Lennart Gabrielsson, a member of SKL's board.

"The advantage of having a free vaccine is that there will not be any groups who can claim that they can't afford it. More people will be vaccinated, which is important for society," he said.

People with chronic illnesses and pregnant women as well as hospitals and heathcare staff will be given the vaccine first.

These are the recommendations that have been made by the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to local health authorities and which were presented at a press conference on Thursday.

The majority of those in the risk groups are expected to have been vaccinated within one-two weeks of the vaccine being delivered in the end of September. They will then receive a second dose three weeks later.

After the high risk groups have received their first dose then the remainder of the population can be vaccinated according to the recommendations.

The health and welfare board expects the vaccine to be approved at around the same time as it is delivered to Sweden. But even if the vaccine is not approved at the EU level there remains the possibility to approve it a national level, Anders Tegnell at the board told the press conference.

When the vaccine is delivered there will be tests provided which will make it possible for children aged three-years-old and above to be administered the vaccine.

But according to the manufacturer smaller children, from six months old, will soon thereafter also be able to be given the vaccine.

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