What are The Local Sweden’s ‘reader questions’?

You may have seen 'reader question' in some of our recent reports, but who can ask a reader question and what can be asked? Here's what you need to know.

What are The Local Sweden’s ‘reader questions’?
Swedish pepparkakor biscuits baked in the shape of question marks and exclamation marks. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

You may have seen articles titled ‘reader question’ around the site and, as you may have guessed, they’re based on questions sent in by you, The Local’s readers.

We receive – and try our best to answer – a large number of such questions, and if any of them touch on a topic that is likely to affect or interest others, we may turn the answer into an article with ‘reader question’ in the headline.

Who can ask a reader question and can I ask anonymously?

All readers of The Local Sweden can ask a reader question, you do not need to be a paying subscriber. If you do find our reporting valuable however, then please consider signing up.

Answering reader questions individually is a time-consuming task made possible only by the support of our members. Therefore, the growing archive of ‘reader question’ articles is only available to subscribers.

You do not need to live in Sweden to ask a reader question – we tackle many topics relevant to second-home owners, visitors to Sweden or simply people who have an interest in Sweden and its language or culture – but the question does need to relate to Sweden.

We will only turn a question into a reader question article where it has value to the broader Local community (and where we know or can find out the answer, obviously).

Sometimes a question can serve as inspiration, i.e. if you ask us ‘why doesn’t my dog love me?’, we may refer you to one of Sweden’s best pet therapists – and then put together an article on pet care in Sweden.

All reader questions we publish are anonymous. We never release any details of your private correspondence with us and we will not publish a reader question where the person asking it could be identified.

What kinds of questions can be asked?

Any question can be asked, as long as it relates somehow to Sweden.

For obvious reasons, recent questions have tended to focus on the Covid pandemic and the Swedish government’s rules, such as this article on Covid tests, and this article on Covid entry rules across Europe for American travellers.

Questions don’t need to be about Covid or government rules though – they can be about anything that’s on your mind, such as this question on organic food in Sweden, and this question on pensions.

If you have a question about Swedish language or culture, we’re happy to have a go at answering this too – no matter how big or small.

In brief; if you’ve ever wondered, feel free to ask.

If necessary, we will reach out to our contacts in the Swedish government or to trusted experts to get the answer.

If you’d like to have a question answered, drop us a line at [email protected]

You can find our previous reader questions HERE.

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When will the new Covid-19 vaccines be available in Sweden?

The European Commission has recently approved three new Covid-19 vaccines, targeting both the original virus and the dominating Omicron variants. When are these expected to be available in Sweden?

When will the new Covid-19 vaccines be available in Sweden?

The first vaccines, approved on September 1st, are the Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.1 and Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron BA.1. These are booster vaccines which will be available for those aged 12 and above who have completed one course of the vaccine against Covid-19.

These two vaccines are designed to target the original strain of the virus, SARS-CoV-2, as well as the Omicron BA.1 subvariant.

Deliveries of this vaccine have recently started to arrive in Sweden, although it may take a few weeks before doses have been distributed to each of Sweden’s regions.

The third vaccine, approved on September 12th, is an adapted version of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), designed to target the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 in addition to the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. These are the two variants which have dominated Covid-19 infections in Sweden this summer.

“The vaccine contains half the original vaccine and half of a vaccine for the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5,” vaccine coordinator Charlotta Bergquist at the Swedish Medical Products Agency told TT newswire.

This vaccine is also a booster vaccine, available to those aged 12 and above who have already completed one full course of Covid-19 vaccination.

The Public Health Agency expect delivery of this second vaccine to commence in October.

You don’t need to wait for the new vaccine

From September 1st, those with an increased risk of severe illness due to Covid-19, as well as pregnant women and those over the age of 65 have been eligible for booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in preparation for the autumn and winter season.

However, the Public Health Agency does not recommend that those who are currently eligible for a booster dose wait until the new vaccines have been delivered, rather that they should take their booster dose with the current vaccine as planned.

“People don’t need to wait for the updated vaccines,” Sören Andersson, head of department at the Public Health Agency said.

“We deem them to be equal when it comes to protection against serious illness and death,” he continued.