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COVID-19 VACCINES

Stockholm first region in Sweden to start offering Covid-19 vaccine to 12-year-olds

Stockholm has opened up its booking system for 12 to 15-year-olds to get vaccinated, with appointments available from the first Monday in October.

Stockholm first region in Sweden to start offering Covid-19 vaccine to 12-year-olds
Stockholm could begin vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds against Covid-19 as early as this month: Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The region is the first in Sweden to open its booking system for the age group, after Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, announced the decision to give the vaccine to those under the age of 16 last Thursday. 

Magnus Thyberg, the region’s vaccine coordinator, said that if possible, the region hoped to begin vaccinating as early as this month. 

“If it turns out that we can get the last administrative elements lined up, they it can be brought forward,” he said. “I expect it to be ready in a few days, but to be on the safe side, the earliest times that can be booked just now are on October 4th.”

All children will be offered Covid-19 vaccinations at school, so the online booking system is for those who want to push ahead and get vaccinated at a vaccination centre before their municipality or school gets around to vaccinating. 

Stockholm’s regional health authority is currently coordinating with municipalities in the region on how schools will carry out the vaccinations on the roughly 120,000 children aged 12 to 15. 

According to the press release, both of the child’s main caregivers need to sign a document agreeing for their child to be vaccinated, and at least one parent should accompany them to a vaccination centre if they are not vaccinated at their school. 

Further booking information can be found on the 1177 healthcare website for the region.

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Sweden opens up fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine for over-80s

Sweden's Public Health Agency is now recommending a fourth vaccine dose for care home residents, recipients of at-home care, and over 80s, to be given at least four months after dose three.

Sweden opens up fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine for over-80s

Despite recently removing almost all Covid-19-related restrictions, the pandemic is still ongoing in Sweden, with the Public Health Agency describing the spread of infection in a press release as “intensive”.

There has also been an increase in the number of cases in groups of the population with an increased risk for serious illness, such as care home residents. 

In addition to this, the immune system’s ability to react to vaccinations and build up long-term protection against the virus becomes less effective with age.

In response to this, the Public Health Agency is now recommending that Swedish regions offer a second booster dose – representing a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine – to the following at-risk groups:

  • care home residents
  • recipients of at-home care
  • over 80s

Regions will be able to offer the dose four months after the first booster dose (dose three), at the earliest, starting from next week.

“A booster dose strengthens protection against the virus,” said state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell in a statement. “Therefore, we believe that people aged 80 and over will benefit from a second booster dose.”

First booster doses are available for over-18s in all Swedish regions. If you have not had yours yet and want to know how to book in your region, see The Local’s guide HERE.

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