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Sweden plans Covid booster shots, with most of population likely to receive 3rd shot in 2022

Sweden plans Covid booster shots, with most of population likely to receive 3rd shot in 2022
Sweden’s health authority has announced that most Swedes are likely to be offered a Covid booster shot in 2022, while vulnerable people could receive their third shot this autumn.

The Swedish Public Health Agency unveiled plans on Tuesday to offer a large portion of the population a third booster shot next year, depending on the emergence of new variants and data on the effectiveness of vaccines over time.

Anders Tegnell, a state epidemiologist, detailed reasons for offering a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine, stating that “the assessment is that it is not possible to eradicate the virus and therefore vaccination work should be long-term and focused on reducing serious illness and death.”

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As per Sweden’s second stage of its vaccine strategy, groups at risk, such as care-home residents, Swedes over 80, and immunocompromised members of the population could be offered a booster dose in autumn. Meanwhile, the third step will focus on offering the wider, general population a third dose.

The Scandinavian country’s main priority, however, remains vaccinating regions and populations with lower inoculation coverage. According to figures from Sweden’s health authority, 51% of the adult population over the age of 18 has received at least two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, while just over 78% has received their first shot.

The country’s Health Agency estimates that all of the adult population will be fully inoculated in autumn, when 16-17-year-olds who have not yet opted for vaccination will be offered a jab.

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Sweden is just one of the latest countries to plan to offer Covid boosters. Germany announced on Monday that it will offer a third vaccine to the vulnerable in September. Israel rolled out the third-shot scheme last weekend to older residents.

Since the pandemic began, Sweden has recorded around 1.1 million cases and 14,665 fatalities.

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