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

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 Wednesday
Signs at the Stockholm mosque advising that Friday prayer has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Sweden’s largest vaccination hub to open today

The Kistamässan exhibition centre north of Stockholm is set to open its doors on Wednesday, and will become Sweden’s largest Covid-19 vaccination centre.

At first, they will administer a couple of thousand doses a day, reports Swedish public broadcaster SVT, but when vaccine supplies increase they plan to scale up to 10,000 doses a day. The vaccination hub will be run by private company Werlabs, contracted by the Stockholm region.

People born earlier than 1951 and certain risk groups are currently able to get vaccinated in Stockholm. You can read more about Stockholm’s vaccination scheme on the 1177 website (in Swedish).

Swedish vocabulary: exhibition centre – mässa

Empty mosques during the second Ramadan of the pandemic

Mosques in Sweden will remain closed in line with coronavirus recommendations during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which got under way on Tuesday.

And when Muslims break the fast after sunset, they are urged to do so only with the members of their household, instead of sharing the meal with friends and strangers.

In non-pandemic years, close to 1,000 people usually visit the mosque on Södermalm in Stockholm during Ramadan, but this year the mosque is empty. Prayers will be held via Zoom and social media, and digital material has been prepared in Arabic and Swedish.

“These activities can’t replace physical contacts. But we try, you do your best,” Mahmoud Khalfi, imam at the Stockholm mosque, told Swedish news agency TT.

Swedish vocabulary: mosque – moské

Mahmoud Khalfi inside the mosque’s studio, which has helped them go digital during the pandemic. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

European countries face slower vaccination as Johnson & Johnson delays rollout

Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) is to delay the rollout of its Covid-19 vaccine in Europe due to concerns over rare potential side effects – blood clots combined with low platelet numbers – detected in the United States.

According to the company, the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reviewing data “involving six reported US cases out of more than 6.8 million doses administered”.

Sweden will decide how to use the vaccine “very soon”, said the Public Health Agency’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell yesterday. Sweden was set to get 1.2 million doses of this vaccine in the first half of the year, around 10 percent of all doses, and vaccine coordinator Richard Bergström described the temporary halt as “not a catastrophe” but that it would have an impact on the pace of vaccinations.

Swedish vocabulary: side effect – biverkan

Brits told to take action to secure their right to stay in Sweden

Thousands of Brits still need to apply for their post-Brexit residence status, and the British embassy is urging all Brits in Sweden to double check their legal status before they lose the right to remain in Sweden on September 30th.

Whether or not they need to apply for a new residence status depends on whether or not they already have a permanent residence permit, but there has been some confusion over this among British nationals living in Sweden, according to the British embassy.

UK ambassador Judith Gough urged Brits to find out which rules apply to them. “It is time to take action. I urge all British citizens in Sweden to check the basis of their residence now, and apply for a new permit, if needed. The new status introduced by the Swedish government will allow British citizens living in Sweden under EU rules to continue their lives as before,” said the ambassador in a press statement.

Swedish vocabulary: permanent residence permit – permanent uppehållstillstånd

How is Uppsala’s ‘personal lockdown’ different from the rest of Sweden?

Uppsala has urged residents to enter a ‘personal lockdown’, and ‘assume everyone you meet has Covid-19’, stronger messaging than previously seen in Sweden. But in effect, the same recommendations apply to everyone in the country.

Uppsala is one of 13 out of Sweden’s 21 regions to have brought in stricter coronavirus measures this spring as the coronavirus continues to spread and more patients are hospitalised with the virus.

On Thursday, the region’s infectious disease doctor urged all Uppsala residents to “enter a personal lockdown” and “consider all human contacts as a potential risk [of Covid-19 infection].” The same messaging has appeared on posters and online adverts.

Swedish vocabulary: infectious disease doctor – smittskyddsläkare

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