How will I get the coronavirus vaccine in Sweden?

How will I get the coronavirus vaccine in Sweden?
A vaccine prepared at a Malmö hospital. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
We've looked into your questions, from who is recommended to get the Covid-19 vaccine in Sweden to how you find out more about booking a slot.

Who is recommended to get the Covid-19 vaccination in Sweden?

At the moment, the vaccination is recommended for most healthy adults, although it is not mandatory.

It is not currently recommended to children or under-18s, or pregnant people, due to a lack of studies into how they might be affected.

If you have previously had a serious allergic reaction (especially requiring hospital care) you are encouraged to speak to your doctor about whether you should get the vaccination. 

Even if you have already had a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19, it is recommended that you get the vaccination as long as you don't fall into one of the groups above.

Can I choose which vaccine I get?

No, this will depend on availability. All the vaccines being used in Sweden have been rigorously tested and approved for use on the general public.

What will happen at my appointment?

First you will need to fill in a health declaration to give a few details. You need to be able to understand the information you are given by healthcare workers under Swedish law, so if you do not understand Swedish, inform the doctor's office when your vaccination is booked. They should be able to tell you if you can be given the information in English or if a translator can be provided.

The vaccine is given as a shot in the arm.

After your second dose, current public health advice is that you will have protection against the virus between one and two weeks later. This doesn't mean you cannot catch Covid-19 or even that you won't fall ill, but the vaccines being used have undergone rigorous testing and are so far shown to give high levels of protection against serious illness.

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What happens after I get my vaccine?

At the moment, the vaccines currently available require two doses before you have sufficient protection, and this takes between one and two weeks after the second dose.

Current guidelines are that everyone should continue following existing recommendations, such as working from home if you can and social distancing in public, even after having the vaccination.

When will I get my vaccine?

This depends on a few things, most significantly which priority group you fall into and which region you live in.

The Public Health Agency has recommended that regions distribute vaccinations in the following order:

Phase 1 (began in December 2020): People who live in elderly care homes or receive at-home care, as well as healthcare and care workers who have close contact with vulnerable people and other adults who share a household with people receiving at-home care.

Phase 2 (from February 2021): All adults aged over 70, starting with the oldest; people aged 18 and above who receive LSS disability support; people working in health and care who have close contact with patients.

Phase 3: Other people aged 18-69 who belong to a risk group. The Public Health Agency has said work is under way to specify risk groups.

Phase 4 (to be completed by the end of June 2021): All over people aged 18-69. 

Some regions have made preliminary timetables available. In Stockholm, for example, people born in or before 1951 (over-70s) will start being offered the vaccination during February, according to 1177. But with February just three days away, it isn't possible to find out an exact date.

Do I have to pay for my vaccine?

You should not have to pay for the Covid-19 vaccine; the Public Health Agency and the Swedish government say it will be free to everyone living in Sweden who wants it.

If you live in Sweden and are registered in the Swedish Population Register (in other words, if you have a personnummer) or if you are an EU citizen with an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) you are entitled to healthcare on the same basis as Swedish residents, and the same also applies to people with a samordningsnummer (coordination number).

If you are not yet registered or have been unable to register, normally you will pay a higher rate for your healthcare. However, SKR, the umbrella association for Sweden's municipalities and regions, has confirmed to The Local that it will recommend that the vaccination be offered for free even to foreigners in Sweden who usually pay for their healthcare. Ultimately it is the regions who decide on fees for healthcare. If you are in this situation, you could call 1177 or a local vårdcentral (doctor's surgery) to find out what applies to you.

I am in a risk group. How do I make sure I am included in Phase 3?

If you belong to a group at risk of serious illness from Covid-19 (find a list in English here), it's a good idea to contact your local doctor's office. If you do not yet have a personnummer or samordningsnummer but will be long-term resident in Sweden, explain your situation. 

How will I book my vaccine slot?

It is currently not possible to book a vaccine slot unless you are in Phase 1, and when and how you do this depends on which group you fall into and which region you live in. 

You cannot book a vaccine slot by calling 1177, which can only offer advice. But the 1177 page for your region will have information on how to arrange your vaccination.

Be aware that there have been multiple reports of fraud attempts from criminals posing as 1177, so be careful if you receive information that appears to be from 1177, especially if you are asked for personal details or to sign into BankID. 1177 does not send out invitations for vaccines, and won't ask you to pay by Swish or identify yourself using BankID in a conversation about Covid-19.

In some regions healthcare workers will be called in for a vaccine by their employer and people receiving at-home care will be contacted about the vaccine, and in other regions you need to book it yourself.

No region has yet opened booking for people in the later priority groups, including over-70s who are not in Phase 1.

Where can I find more information?

1177 healthcare service (make sure to choose the correct region for you)

Krisinformation (information collected from Swedish authorities)

Swedish government (in Swedish)

Public Health Agency (in Swedish)

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