One million Swedes have had swine flu vaccine

Around one million Swedes have been vaccinated for the swine flu, according to the country’s public health authorities.

“That means that a few hundred thousand people will avoid getting ill, and a thousand people will avoid becoming seriously ill,” said Anders Tegnell of the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) during a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

Tegnell reviewed the current vaccination situation with public health minister Maria Larsson and also addressed the ongoing spread of rumours alleging the vaccine is dangerous.

“It’s been said, for example, that Germany is going to switch vaccines. But that is a myth. Germany is not thinking about buying a new vaccine,” he said.

“I understand that people want to be careful. But it’s also important to not be misled. The Swedish vaccination programme isn’t unique and we’re not doing anything out of the ordinary in this country.”

Jan Liljemark of the Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket) said that roughly 100 cases of side effects had been reported thus far.

“That figure was very much expected,” he said.

Larsson said that the spread of the flu is increasing.

“A million Swedes have been vaccinated and we have very little time before the big spread of infection is expected to start,” she told the TT news agency.

She hopes that as many people as possible get vaccinated, adding that there have yet to be any “strange side effects”.

“So people should feel secure with the vaccine,” she added.

Next week, Stockholm’s public schools will commence with a swine flu vaccination programme for the school system’s roughly 95,000 students and staff.

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