Sweden postpones its Covid-19 vaccine target again

Sweden postpones its Covid-19 vaccine target again
Sweden has pushed back its vaccine target several times this year due to reduced deliveries from vaccine manufacturers. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Sweden has pushed back the date by which it expects to have offered all adults a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, for the fourth time since its first vaccine forecast.

Back in December at the start of the vaccination programme, Sweden’s Health Minister said the country expected to have offered all eligible adults the Covid-19 vaccine before Midsummer, June 26th.

Ahead of Midsummer weekend, Sweden has offered a first dose to slightly over half the adult population after delays in vaccine deliveries, and now expects all adults will have been offered their first dose by September 19th at the latest. The announcement was made by Marie Morell, head of healthcare for Sweden’s Municipalities and Regions (SKR), at a press conference with state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell.

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The main reason for the latest change is reduced deliveries from Pfizer/Biontech, which sent more doses than expected in June but are now scaling back the amount they can deliver in line with their agreement.

Up until June 24th, a total of 4,507,250 people had been reported as having at least one dose of the vaccine, based on what regions have reported to the national vaccine register. That equates to 55 percent of the adult population, of whom 2,721,752 (33.2 percent) have received both doses.

All the vaccines being used in Sweden require two doses to be considered effective. 

The vaccine rollout is managed at the regional level, which means different age groups are being offered the vaccine in different regions, though all have now opened up to Phase 4, which includes adults aged under 65 who do not belong to a Covid-19 risk group. As of Monday, one region (Norrbotten) was offering the Covid-19 vaccine to all adults over 18, while elsewhere the threshold ranged from 25 to 45 years. 

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