Three regions, Värmland, Jönköping and Kalmar, opened up booking for Covid-19 vaccination slots to adults aged under 60 on Monday.
In Värmland, and Jönköping, booking is now open for people aged over 55 who do not belong to a risk group, and Kalmar has opened booking for everyone aged over 50 or born in 1971 or earlier. A statement from Kalmar’s vaccine coordinator said that limited vaccine deliveries over the coming month mean it will take “several weeks” before the age limit will be lowered further.
Meanwhile, while Västra Götaland is still mostly in Phase 3, some doctor’s offices have been able to invite under-60s in for vaccination.
And other regions aren’t far behind. The Skåne region said on Monday that it anticipated starting Phase 4 in “mid-May”, starting with those aged over 50. “At the moment, preparations are ongoing to be able to start up some of the larger vaccination sites so that everything works when it is time to welcome Scanians for vaccination. Among other things, it is important to plan so that people can move through the sites in a way that doesn’t risk spreading infection,” a regional statement explained.
Over in the capital region, Stockholm is lagging behind on the proportion of adults vaccinated and has also reported continuing problems with available slots going unbooked.
By midday on Monday, Dagens Nyheter reported that in the Rinkeby and Nacka suburbs, just five and 20 percent of the slots for the coming week were booked. According to the region’s current plans, Stockholm will start Phase 4 later in May, but the vaccine coordinator told Aftonbladet it could happen sooner.
“I cannot now say the exact day, but we see that the pressure is starting to decrease in the group where we are now, and that the proportion of vaccinated people is rising. Then we start to get closer to moving on,” coordinator Magnus Thyberg told the daily. He added that there was no sign that doses had been wasted due to the slower rate of booking.
Anyone aged 18-59 who also belongs to a Covid-19 risk group is eligible for the vaccine in Kalmar, Värmland and several other regions as part of Phase 3. Risk groups include people with a chronic cardiovascular or lung illness (including severe asthma or high blood pressure for example), a BMI over 40, diabetes, and several other groups. More information is available from the Public Health Agency (in Swedish).
Regions are handling vaccination of risk groups differently, so some have opened up the vaccine to all adults belonging to a risk group while others are only currently offering it to older adults in a risk group, for example over-50s or over-40s.
To check where your region is up to, use the 1177.se national healthcare website and select your region, or check the regional government’s websites – you can find a list of these from Krisinformation.
Here’s a reminder of the four phases of Sweden’s vaccine rollout.
Phase 1: People who live in care homes for the elderly; people who have at-home care, and people who live with them; people working in healthcare and care facilities who have close contact with people in the above risk groups.
Phase 2: People aged 65-69; people who are on dialysis or are recent transplant recipients and people who live with them; people who receive LSS assistance and are aged over 18.
Phase 3: People aged 60 to 64, and all adults aged 18-59 who either belong to a risk group for Covid-19 or would have particular difficulty following the public health advice (for example people with certain learning difficulties, or people living in socially vulnerable situations such as homeless people).
Phase 4: Other adults aged 18-59, oldest first.