SHARE
COPY LINK

POLITICS

Swedish commission to review coronavirus response before next election

Sweden plans to appoint an independent commission to probe the country's handling of the coronavirus pandemic -- and its report should be ready before the next election.

Swedish commission to review coronavirus response before next election
The commission into Sweden's handling of the pandemic should be ready before the 2022 election. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT

According to several party leaders, the government now plans for the review to be completed during the first quarter of 2022. Sweden's next general election will be held in September of the same year. 

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven first announced that a commission would be launched back in May, following demands from the Swedish opposition that this be set up before the summer.

The review will look at the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, such as not asking Swedes to self-isolate on returning from overseas holidays at the start on the outbreak.

Sweden’s testing numbers strategy will be reviewed, which have long been significantly lower per capita than many other European countries, but have doubled during June to reach just over 61,000 per week.

Another area many want reviewed is care of the elderly, where there has been a reported lack of protective equipment, and a lack of staff training in how to use the equipment received.

“The government did the only thing reasonable. There were several parties that demanded that this be clear before the election,” said Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson.

He also said it was important that the commission provide a report before too much time had passed, due to the importance of learning quickly when dealing with a pandemic, and to ensure accountability before the election.

Sweden has reported more than 5,000 deaths of Covid-19, with figures far higher than the neighbouring Nordic countries. 

Authorities including the Health Minister, Prime Minister and Public Health Agency have said repeatedly that Sweden failed in its aim of protecting the elderly, and that testing proved more problematic than expected due to difficulties coordinating resources and staff.

But they have largely stuck by the decision not to introduce a society-wide lockdown, as seen across most other countries after reporting community transmission of the disease. 

Since the start of the crisis, there has been broad political consensus over the general approach and focus on voluntary measures rather than a lack of lockdown. 

But recent weeks have seen a sharpening of the political tone, with the conservative Moderates criticising the government for lack of leadership, and the Left Party saying failures in elderly care are the result of decades of cuts. 

 

 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19

When should I get my next dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Sweden?

Covid-19 has not been classified as a "critical threat to society" in Sweden since April. But the Swedish Public Health Agency still recommends that everyone aged 12 and above get vaccinated. So when should you get your next dose?

When should I get my next dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Sweden?

As winter approaches, it’s a good time to check that you’re up to date on your booster shots.

If you’re aged 12 or older, the agency recommends that you should at least have completed your primary dose of the vaccine, which comprises two shots. Because vaccine efficacy wanes over time, if you are aged 18 and above, you should have already had your third dose.

The booster dose, called a påfyllnadsdos, can be administered a minimum of four months after the primary dose or the most recent booster. A booster shot is recommended even if you have tested positive for Covid-19 since your most recent vaccination, because the protection offered by a vaccine is more reliable than that offered by an infection.

The agency has also warned that the Omicron BA.5 variant spreads more easily than previous Covid-19 mutations.

Deliveries of two of the new vaccines targeting the new variant, Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.1 and Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron BA.1, have arrived in Sweden but have not yet reached all health regions, meaning it is not certain that if you will currently receive the updated vaccine. 

A third vaccine, an adapted version of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), is expected to arrive in Sweden in October. 

READ ALSO: When will the new Covid-19 vaccines be available in Sweden?

The höstdosen, or “autumn vaccine”

On September 1, the agency issued new guidelines for a höstdosen, or autumn vaccine dose.

During the campaign, all adults aged 18 and over who belong to an at-risk group are recommended to get a booster dose, as are seniors aged 65 and above. 

Risk categories include people who are pregnant, have a weakened immune system, have heart and lung diseases, or have Down syndrome.

You can get the autumn booster regardless of how many vaccine doses you may have received, which means it might be a fourth shot for some people, and a fifth for others.

The autumn vaccine is also available for those aged 18-64 who do not fall into any of the at-risk categories but would like a fourth dose. The Swedish Public Health Agency has said that regional health providers must make booster doses available to those who want them.

Chart showing recommended vaccination schedules. Chart: Folkhälsomyndigheten

Chart showing recommended vaccination schedules. Chart: Swedish Public Health Agency

How do I get an appointment for the autumn dose? 

Region Stockholm has been offering appointments for an autumn vaccination to everyone over 18 since September 12th. You can book a dose through the Alltid Öppet app

In Region Skåne, the region responsible for healthcare in Malmö and Lund, appointments for an autumn vaccine have been available since August 22nd. Appointments are available for vaccinations in Region Stockholm, as are drop-in times at locations listed on 1177.se.

In Region Västergötland, the region responsible for healthcare in Gothenburg, health centres, or vårdcentraler, are prioritising people aged 80 and older.

Those in other categories, including at-risk adults 18 and older and seniors over 65, are requested to make their vaccination appointments with other providers through 1177.se

SHOW COMMENTS