Stockholm’s new plan for opening Covid booster bookings to over-18s

Region Stockholm has opened up bookings for booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to all those over the age of 18 who had received their second dose by May 16th, and plans to extend it to more people in the new year.

Stockholm's new plan for opening Covid booster bookings to over-18s
Those over the age of 18 in risk groups in Stockholm can now book a booster dose. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The decision comes just two days after the county’s health department started taking bookings for those born in 1961 or earlier.

In a press message, Stockholm’s vaccine coordinator, Magnus Thyberg, said that opening up bookings to all those who had been prioritised in the spring would mean people in risk groups would get access to their third vaccine dose.

“We now want to offer above all those in our risk groups the chance to book a dose,” he said. “That’s to say all those over the age of 18 who were vaccinated with their second dose by May 16th or earlier.”

As Stockholm only opened up bookings for 55-59-year-olds to get their first shot on May 6th, the new announcement does not extend bookings to most of the new age group – at least not if they got their first two doses in Stockholm.

In the press release, Thyberg said that Region Stockholm aimed from the week starting January 17th to offer the third booster dose to more people over the age of 18, who had received their second dose more than six months previously.

This might start to cover 55 to 59-year-olds, but as 18-year-olds in Stockholm were only offered bookings for their first shot on July 9th, they will still have to wait a little longer.

Region Stockholm recommended that people use the Alltid öppet app, which is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play to book their third dose. It said that those who had booked their second dose through the app would receive an sms message when they become eligible for their third dose. 

If you have a Swedish personnummer but don’t have access to the app, you can call one of these numbers to book your vaccine.

If you don’t have a personnummer, you should contact a doctor’s office (vårdcentral) directly or visit a mobile vaccination unit during drop-in hours. If you have a samordningsnummer you can also get vaccinated at a vaccination centre that offers drop-in.

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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.