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NORWAY

Sweden beat Norway to curling gold

Sweden took home gold at this weekend's European Curling Championships in Karlstad, beating Norway 8-5.

Sweden beat Norway to curling gold

Last year, Sweden had to make do with a silver medal in the European Curling Championship after losing out to Norway in the final.

This weekend, the team made a stunning comeback, beating Norway on home ground in Karlstad, west-central Sweden.

The Swedish team’s performance was of high calibre throughout the tournament. The team lost just one out of 11 games before picking up the gold in Karlstad.

“It feels really wonderful,” Sweden’s skip, Niklas Edin, told the TV4 channel after the winning game against Norway.

After the third end, Sweden were losing 2-1. But some tenacious play saw them eventually pull away to win by three.

“We had some control towards the end. If felt like we had really landed it and we were able to enjoy the last two rounds,” said Edin.

Team captain, Peja Lindholm, told TV4 that the win “means a great deal” to the team, which is aiming to qualify for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

“It is never good losing but if I am going to lose to someone then it is OK losing to Niklas,” said Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud.

“They played well all week. I think for the first half of the final we had them…but after the break they were all over us. Well done to the Swedish boys.”

Sweden last won the European Championships in 2009.

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NORWAY

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

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