Can I get a ‘leftover’ dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Sweden?

Can I get a ‘leftover’ dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Sweden?
In some regions, there's a chance to sign up to be notified if spare doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are available at short notice. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Sweden’s vaccination programme is well under way, but the target date to have offered all adults a first dose has been pushed back from June to September. Some regions and vaccination centres offer the option to sign up for a ‘spare’ dose at the last minute.

These doses are made available to people outside the eligible priority groups if they would otherwise be wasted. It’s usually a case of only a small number of doses, for example if people do not show up to booked appointments.

As is the case for regular Covid-19 vaccines, the availability and booking procedures vary region by region. We have looked at the processes for four regions offering leftover doses, but it is possible that other regions or specific clinics are also running reserve lists.

The best way to stay up to date on when the vaccination is being offered in your region is by checking the regional website and the regional 1177 health page, as well as following local news. The Swedish terms to look out for are restdos (leftover dose) and reservlista (reserve list). You can find a list of all the regional websites from the website KrisInformation, which provides information from Swedish authorities on crises, or go to 1177.se and choose your region. 

Note that most regions ask residents not to turn up at vaccination centres or clinics if they do not have an appointment. This is to avoid crowding, and to allow healthcare staff to work efficiently. 

The information below was accurate to the best of our knowledge as of May 25th. 

Skåne

If you are aged between 50 and 59 there is a chance to register to receive a leftover dose from a hospital, for example any extras from a batch used during vaccination of higher priority groups. You can find information about registering on 1177.se.

The 50-59 age group is already eligible for vaccination in Skåne, and if you are in this group you should also book a vaccine slot the regular way because there’s no guarantee of a leftover, but signing up to the reserve list may mean you receive the vaccine sooner. You should only register if you can get to the clinic within 30 minutes if and when doses become available, and unfortunately it is only available to people with a digital ID (such as BankID).

Stockholm

In Stockholm, vaccination is open to people aged over 45 (or born in 1976). Some reserve lists are available to get a leftover dose, but the situation is a bit more complicated because different vaccination centres are run by different care providers and it’s the individual provider that decides whether to offer reserve lists and how to run them.

Kry, which runs several of Stockholm’s vaccination clinics, previously had a reserve list open but it was closed at the time of writing. The same was true of Doktor24, which said that its reserve list was full for now but that when it opens again, people aged 40 and above would be able to sign up to be notified of extra doses.

Readers of The Local have also reported being offered leftover doses after signing up to a reserve list in person at a vaccination centre run by Capio, though bear in mind this may vary between specific clinics.

Västernorrland

In Västernorrland, vaccination is currently only open to people aged over 60 and those in risk groups, but people aged 50-59 and not in a risk group may be able to join a reserve list to receive leftover doses.

To do this, you need to log on to 1177.se and follow the steps for booking a slot at a doctor’s office, but when you get to the step Boka tid (Book a time), see if Restdos vaccination covid-19 (Leftover dose of Covid-19 vaccine) is available in the list Syfte för besök (purpose of visit).

As of May 25th, three clinics in Örnsköldsvik were confirmed by 1177.se as offering leftover doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. The website states that any appointments for leftover doses are opened up in the afternoon, so around 2pm and afterwards is the best time to check, if you are able to travel to the clinic at short notice. If a time becomes available, you will be called once (most likely from a hidden number) and if you don’t answer, the appointment will be offered to the next person on the list.

You do not need a digital ID to book an appointment in Västernorrland.

Västmanland

As of May 25th, the region has opened up booking for people over 50. People aged between 50 and 64 also have the option of joining a reserve list to be notified of any available leftover doses. This helps the system work to maximum efficiency, and may mean you get your vaccine sooner. You should still book an appointment using the normal process though.

To sign up to the reserve list, you need to be able to travel to the clinic within an hour if a dose becomes available. You sign up to the list at a specific clinic, via 1177.se which has a list of all the sites offering possible leftover doses. If a time becomes available, you will be called once (most likely from a hidden number) and if you don’t answer, the appointment will be offered to the next person on the list. 

Do you have a question about the Covid-19 pandemic in Sweden or have you seen reserve lists which aren’t mentioned in this article? Please contact [email protected] to get in touch with our editorial team.


Member comments

  1. I can’t believe that there are SPARE DOSES when it is IMPOSSIBLE to reserve a normal one!
    This is pathetic, a failure of epic scale. What a disappointment honestly, flabbergasting. I came to the conclusion that Sweden works really well on a perfectly geared and oiled system. The moment you have something just out of the rails, … sheer mess. No personnumer? you do not exist. Ask something in a shop which is not exactly defined like the database? they don’t have it … then you find it on the shelves. Rigidity is not key when dealing with unexpected events: it is called thinking out of the box, and does not seem to apply here. I am collecting dozens of micro-examples like these. Gonna write a book.

    1. My favourite is having to send the same information 7+ times to whatever bureaucratic institution making a case for you. Your deadlines are tight but they can take up to 6 months to reply.

      1. I cannot wait to change my (crap) UK driving license, useless to drive in the EU, with a Swedish one. That will be fun.

    2. Just to give an idea:
      around Lund they have opened now 15 vaccination points, there is no synchronization between the opening of a centre (on the map) and the availability of doses. Also, all the vaccine points are completely different entity, 1177 only gives you the points on the map and the web URLs to access them, after which you have to: input your personnummer, show your bankID, sometimes fill a disclaimer form telling that you never had a vaccine reaction etc. Until that point you have no idea if you will find an available slot. The first chance to get the vaccine materialized on May 17th, but I missed the “train” and by the early morning all was gone, no available slot on any calendar. Then the mirage that they would give new doses from the 24th of May. At midnight plus one minute I was there, until 2 o’ clock, trying to get an appointment from all these “actors”: VACCINDIREKT, KRY, MACC, VACCINA, DOKTOR24, MIN DOKTOR …
      VACCINDIREKT seemed perefct, if only because they had a table of green slots for each day of the calendar.Sweet. I started clicking always receiving a red message saying that the system was not ready. Hours later, around 7 or 8 o’ clock in the morning, I tried again. This time the system was ready, but my clicks were not accepted, generating errors after too long awaiting time. Eventually I saw these time slots vanishing before my eyes. No need to express the anger and the fatigue at trying all the other centres, every time inserting my data, and the bankID thing (waht is it for?) and the personnumer, and my DNA sequence (TCGAACTCGAATAGG…..). I am APPALLED by the level of confusion, the dis uniformity of the system, the lack of information, the waterproof attitude towards the citizens.

    3. I think it’s important to underline that there are only a small number of these ‘leftover’ doses, which become available when people don’t turn up to their booked appointment and they need to be used before the end of the day or otherwise have to be disposed of. It’s not a guaranteed way to get a vaccine but we want to make sure international residents have access to the information.

      But, that doesn’t fix the other problems you mentioned, which we are working to report on too. You can email [email protected] if you’ve come across examples which we haven’t covered, it’s always helpful to hear from readers!

  2. I live in between Uppsala and Stockholm, but technically in region Uppsala. I was wondering whether I would be able to get vaccinated in Stockholm, or can you only get vaccinated in your region?

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