Sweden no longer expects to offer Covid-19 vaccine to all adults in first half of 2021

Sweden has said it will take "a bit longer" than forecast to vaccinate all adults against Covid-19, and no longer expects to meet its previously set goal of Midsummer due to changes in vaccine deliveries.

Sweden no longer expects to offer Covid-19 vaccine to all adults in first half of 2021
Nationwide, two thirds of over-80s have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Vaccine coordinator Richard Bergström has said that based on current forecasts, five million adults would have received both doses of the vaccine by June 30th, and a further 2-2.5 million would have had one dose.

Sweden’s total adult population is around 8.2 million people, and the initial target was to offer the Covid-19 vaccination to all adults as well as children in risk groups in the first six months of 2021.

“It is going to take a bit longer before everyone has been fully vaccinated, but perhaps five million will be fully vaccinated in the first half of the year,” Bergström told SVT’s Helgstudion programme.

This new forecast assumes that currently planned vaccine deliveries to Sweden will go ahead as scheduled.

It comes after the Swedish Public Health Agency adjusted down the forecasted vaccine deliveries during the first six months. In December, the agency expected regions to receive 17.4 million vaccine doses by June 2020, but that figure is now 12.5 million, with many of those not forecast to arrive before June. 

Some regions had already expressed doubt they would achieve the June target.

Stockholm in February postponed its target by a few weeks with the aim to vaccinate all eligible Stockholmers by mid-July, and SKR, the umbrella organisation for Sweden’s municipalities and regions, has said that even the target of vaccinating 80 percent of over-70s nationwide by the end of April now looks difficult to achieve.

So far, slightly more than one million Swedes or 12 percent of the adult population have had their first dose since the programme began just after Christmas. Among the elderly, 84 percent of all over-90s and 66 percent of all over-80s have now received at least one dose of vaccine.

All Swedish regions have now started the second phase of vaccinations, and you can check your region’s website or regional information on to find out what applies where you live. In the first phase, Covid-19 vaccines were offered to residents of elderly care homes and elderly people receiving at-home care, as well as healthcare workers in close contact with these people.

The second phase includes all adults aged over 65, starting with the oldest. This group also includes people in certain risk groups and healthcare staff who have close contact with others in the second phase, but the Public Health Agency recently adjusted its vaccine priority order to focus more closely on old age. 

Member comments

  1. In related news, I no longer expect to be polite to any Swede, ever again. My family isolated, sacrificed, all last year and all winter, not even going to an ICA, while you Swedes pretended that one could social distance on a crowded Tbana, that wearing masks was needless and stupid, that “it’s just a bad flu” (direct quote from a gay Swede who lived during the AIDS era, which, WOW) – and, most hideous of all, came after anyone who spoke up differently.

    And now we won’t even get a vaccine. I feel very sure, somehow, that the families of Dan Eliasson and Anders Tegnell have already greedily skipped the queue (it would be embarrassingly naive to believe they have not) and gotten theirs. Why would they obey rules? For them, “It was necessary”.

    We see you all now for the selfish, irresponsible, mean snobs that you are. You are a deeply cruel people. None of us who suffered while you celebrated will ever forget.

    1. I totally agree with you. This country is a huge disappointment and cannot wait to leave as soon as vaccine is finally offered and can easily move across to UK or Australia- my home countries. Disgusted by the behaviour of many people and the ineffective government

    2. Cannot agree more with you. I’m appalled at how the people in this country have behaved during this pandemic. Selfish doesn’t begin to cover it.

  2. Yup, welcome to the REAL Sweden ‘ selfish, irresponsible, mean snobs’. And don’t let anyone respond here talking about we let refugees in, yeah they do but that only awoke the the far right fascist nature of the population!!

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Did Sweden’s state epidemiologist really get a big job at the WHO?

For his supporters, it was well-deserved, for his detractors a case of failing upwards. But when Sweden's Public Health Agency announced this month that state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell was taking a job at the World Health Organisation, both sides assumed it was true.

Did Sweden's state epidemiologist really get a big job at the WHO?

Now, it seems, the job might not be there after all. 

At the start of this month, Sweden’s Public Health Agency announced that Anders Tegnell was resigning to take up a post coordinating vaccine work with the World Health Organisation in Geneva. 

“I’ve worked with vaccines for 30 years and have at the same time always been inspired by international issues,” Tegnell said in the release. “Now I will have the chance to contribute to this comprehensive international work.”

During the first and second waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tegnell shot immediately from obscurity into the spotlight, gaining such celebrity status in Sweden that one fan had his profile tattooed onto his arm.

Internationally he was hailed by lockdown sceptics for his reasoned arguments against overly restrictive measures to control the spread of the virus. 

His new WHO appointment was reported all over the world. 

But on Tuesday, the Svenska Daglabdet newspaper revealed that the job had not yet been awarded. A spokesperson for the WHO said at a press conference in Geneva that “there is some confusion”, and that “this is an internal question.” 

According to the newspaper, there is even “a certain level of irritation” behind the scenes at the WHO that Sweden acted too soon and dispatched Tegnell to a job that did not actually exist yet. 

“We have received an offer from Sweden, which is still under discussion,” the organisation’s press spokesperson, Fadela Chaib, told the newspaper. 

On Thursday, the Public Health Agency’s press chief Christer Janson conceded that there had been a mistake and that the negotiation had not been completed.  

“We believed it was done, but it wasn’t,” he told Expressen in an interview. “It’s been a much longer process to get this completed than we thought. There’s been a misunderstanding and we regret that.”