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Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Friday

Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Friday
Johan Carlson, director of the Swedish Public Health Agency which will announce its decision on the AstraZeneca vaccine early next week. Photo: Carl-Olof Zimmerman/TT

Sweden to wait before resuming AstraZeneca vaccine after EMA concludes ‘safe and effective’

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) concluded on Thursday that the AstraZeneca vaccine was a “safe and effective” tool in the battle against Covid-19.

“”This is a safe and effective vaccine whose benefits in protecting people from Covid-19 hugely outweigh the risks,” its Executive Director said but added that further studies would take place to probe possible links between the injection and rare blood clotting cases.

Sweden’s Public Health Agency said it would “take the time that is needed”  to assess the findings, and that it would decide next week whether to resume vaccinations using the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Asked by The Local if the agency was considering any measures to build trust in the vaccine if it is judged safe to use, to counter worries among the public caused by high profile reports of severe brain haemorrhages and other clot-related illnesses among a small number of people who had taken the AstraZeneca vaccine, the agency’s Karin Tegmark-Wisell said this had not been looked into.

You can read more updates from Thursday’s briefing from Swedish authorities here. 

Swedish vocabulary: safe – säker

Swedish PM: ‘More people are getting lazy’ in following Covid measures

At a government press conference on Thursday, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said: “We are seeing that more people are starting to get lazy in following the rules and recommendations, and that is having a direct negative effect on the level of infection.”

Over the last 14 days, Sweden reported 566 new cases per 100,000 residents nationwide, one of the highest incidence rates in the EU.

Löfven said existing measures, such as restaurant closures at 8.30pm, and limits on customer numbers in shops, would remain in place, but no new measures would be introduced yet, instead stressing that businesses and individuals needed to follow the guidelines and laws in place.

Swedish vocabulary: existing – befintlig

New Migration Court ruling for international students affected by Covid-19

A new ruling from Malmö’s Migration Court means that an international Masters student in Sweden will have their rejected study permit extension reconsidered, which could set a precedent for students whose studies have been affected by Covid-19, Sveriges Radio reports.

The case relates to a student who was unable to continue his research due to the impact of Covid-19, but his application to extend his permit was rejected on the basis he had not been studying full-time. He has now won his appeal against the decision, with the Malmö court saying this was only a minor deviation from the permit requirements.

The Migration Agency told the radio that it follows the laws in place, and would require a judgment from the Migration Court of Appeal in order to change its practice. If you are an international student in Sweden who has been affected by the pandemic, you can contact The Local at [email protected]

Swedish vocabulary: to appeal – överklaga

Covid-19 Sweden’s third most common cause of death in second half of 2020

During the second half of 2020, Covid-19 was the third most common cause of death in Sweden.

In total 3,503 people died of the disease, including four children. Sweden’s total deaths in June to December rose by five percent compared to the previous year, according to the National Board of Health and Welfare’s preliminary statistics, published on Thursday.

The two most common causes of death were heart disease (12,800 deaths) and cancer (11,500). During December, the increased spread of Covid-19 made it the second most common cause of death that month.

Swedish vocabulary: cause of death – dödsorsak

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For members


Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Airport chaos, cyber ads, Nato's Sweden plans, and tough talk from Turkey: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Swedish airport operator warns of long queues this weekend

Swedish airport operator Swedavia has warned that queues at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport are likely to increase over the long Ascension Day weekend. 

“There is a rather low personnel level at security controls which will mean that it is tight from time to time,” said David Karlsson, the airport’s press officer on Thursday morning. “Together with the fact that travel levels have risen during the spring and summer, and that it’s a particularly intensive weekend, it’s a bit tight out there this morning.”

Jan Eliasson, a former Swedish foreign minister and former Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, criticised the queues on Twitter. 

“The chaos at Arlanda damages Sweden’s reputation in the world more than we realise,” he wrote. 

The press spokesperson for SAS said on Thursday that customers would not be recompensed for flights missed due to the queues. 

Swedish Vocab: bitvis – bit by bit/from time to time 

No need for Nato forces in Sweden: US general 

Nato is unlikely to place ground forces in Sweden or Finland as a result of them joining the Nato defence alliance, the US General Christopher Cavoli has said in a statement. 

Cavoli, who in July takes over as Nato’s highest commander in Europe, was interviewed in the US Senate on Thursday. 

He said that the Ukraine war had shifted Nato’s balancing point towards Eastern Europe, where member states are most worried about Russian aggression. 

Cavoli said that the US already has strong military links to both Sweden and Finland, and that there would be more joint exercises and other engagements in future.

Swedish Vocab: tyngdpunkt – balancing point

Sweden’s Psychological Defence Agency launches major advertising campaign 

Sweden’s new Psychological Defence Agency has launched a new campaign titled Bli inte lurad, meaning roughly “don’t be a mug”. The campaign has been launched on social media, in printed newspapers, and on billboards across Sweden. 

Swedish Vocab: lurad – conned/deceived

Erdogan: Sweden’s contact with Kurdish groups ‘against spirit of Nato’

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned Sweden’s contact with Kurdish groups as “against the spirit of Nato” in a telephone conversation with France’s President Emmanuel Macron. 

On Wednesday, delegations from Sweden Finland and Turkey held their first meeting in Ankara. 

“We communicated in clear language the message that the process cannot move forward until Turkey’s security concerns are met with concrete steps and within a certain timeframe,” Erdogan’s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin, said after the meeting. 

Swedish Vocab: en tidsram – a timeframe