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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday
Sweden has said it will change the label on the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

One in ten get long Covid, Swedish study finds

A new Swedish study suggests that at least one in ten people who fall ill with a relatively mild version of Covid-19 are affected by lingering symptoms of “Long Covid” eight months later. After two months, these symptoms were primarily the loss of smell, loss of taste, fatigue and shortness of breath, according to the results of the study.

But the study did not find a wide spread of symptoms that have also been tied to Long Covid, including heart palpitations and cognitive issues such as memory problems.

The research team from Danderyd Hospital and the Karolinska Institute, who published the study in JAMA, will now continue to follow up with the study participants.

Swedish vocabulary: research – forskning

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Sweden puts warning label on AstraZeneca vaccine

The European Medicines Agency on Wednesday came to the conclusion that unusual blood clots reported around Europe should be considered as rare side effects of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, but that overall the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risk.

So far, most of the cases reported have occurred in women under 60 years of age within two weeks of vaccination. Sweden currently only offers the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged over 65. The other available Covid-19 vaccines in Sweden are not associated with this risk.

The Swedish Medical Products Agency said that AstraZeneca’s vaccine, Vaxzevria, would in Sweden get a new label that warns of the combination of blood clots and low levels of platelets as a “very rare” side effect, which means it is thought to affect fewer than one person out of 10,000. But an agency spokesperson told the TT newswire that “we believe the cases are significantly fewer, say one out of 100,000”.

Although these side effects are rare, anyone who develops symptoms of this combination of blood clots and low platelets after receiving the AstraZeneca jab should seek medical attention. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling in legs, abdominal pain, severe headaches, blurred vision and tiny blood spots under the skin at the sight of the injection.

Swedish vocabulary: Swedish Medical Products Agency – Läkemedelsverket

Three Swedish women fall ill with rare AstraZeneca side effects

Three cases have been confirmed in Sweden of people who developed a rare combination of blood clots and low levels of platelets after receiving the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine Vaxzevria.

The latest patient is a woman who has been treated in hospital but is on the road to recovery, the Swedish Medical Products Agency told the TT news agency on Thursday.

The other two people in Sweden are a woman in her 30s who needed intensive care, and a woman in her 60s who died. She is said to have been otherwise healthy, and the agency said it considers it likely that the side effects were linked to the vaccination.

Sweden currently only offers the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged over 65. This type of side effect is considered very rare, and has not been linked to the other vaccines. Read the entry above for more information on the current status of the AstraZeneca jab.

Swedish vocabulary: platelet – blodplätt

Sweden scraps indefinite detentions of suspects

Indefinite detentions are coming to an end this summer after the Swedish parliament voted for time-limited detentions, which will be nine months for adults and three months for young people aged 15-18. It will be possible to detain suspects for longer if there are exceptional reasons.

To remand a suspect in Sweden, a court must believe there is “probable cause” to believe the suspect committed a crime that could result in imprisonment of at least one year. They must also rule that there is a risk of the suspect fleeing, committing further crime, or harming the investigation, in order to keep them in custody.

If these criteria are met and the suspect is remanded, the prosecutor has 14 days to bring the case to trial. Currently, this can in theory be extended indefinitely, if the court approves an extension – laws that have long been criticised by human rights activists.

Swedish vocabulary: remand – häkta

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