Sweden speeds up third vaccine dose for over-65s

Over-65s no longer need to wait as long between vaccine doses. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
The Swedish Public Health Agency has announced new recommendations that third vaccine doses for over-65s may now be given after five months – one month earlier than previously recommended.

The reason for this change is to enable more over-65s to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

The Public Health Agency expects that infection levels will increase over the next few months, leading the agency to shorten the recommended interval between doses so that as many as possible will have increased protection against Covid-19 in the upcoming winter season.

“We can see an increased spread of infection in many countries in Europe, and following our scenarios, we can count on there being an increase in Sweden as well. With a shorter interval between dose two and the extra dose, more will be able to be vaccinated as soon as possible, and have good protection against the disease before the Christmas holiday,” said Anders Tegnell, state epidemiologist, in a statement.

Currently, extra doses of the vaccine are recommended for all over-65s, as well as some people working in elderly care and at-home care.

Sweden expects to roll out booster shots to everyone eventually, but it will happen in steps in winter and spring.

The new recommended shorter interval between doses only applies to over-65s – all others offered a third dose must still wait six months before they can be vaccinated.

It is ultimately Sweden’s 21 regions that decide when to open the third round of vaccinations to their residents. To find out how to get your third dose in your region, go to the 1177.se healthcare website and select your region under välj region in the menu bar.

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