The fourth vaccine has been offered to over-80s, care home residents and recipients of at-home care since February this year. Around half of this group – 52 percent – have received their fourth dose, according to the Public Health Agency’s weekly statistics.
Now, the Public Health Agency is extending the second booster dose offer to over-65s, saying in a press release that the decision is due to an increased spread of infection in Sweden and abroad, as well as lower vaccine efficacy for those who received their vaccine more than four months ago.
The risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 increases with age, and – for those over 65 – almost four months has passed since their previous dose. In addition to this, the protective effects of the vaccine become weaker over time.
“Just as before, the goal is to prevent serious illness and death from Covid-19. Since we can still see a significant spread of infection both in Sweden and in other countries in combination with vaccine protection starting to decrease in this group, we are motivated to offer a second booster dose to further age groups,” Public Health Agency general director Karin Tegmark Wisell explained.
The second booster dose should be taken four months after the previous dose, and three months after for those with immune deficiency.
The Public Health Agency also encouraged those who have not yet been vaccinated or received their booster shot to do so “as soon as possible”.
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.