EXPLAINED: How to get the flu vaccine in Sweden

a man getting the flu shot
Here's a guide to how to get the influenza vaccine in Sweden. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT
Last year, Sweden's influenza season was practically non-existent, but now that most Covid restrictions have been lifted and society opens up, things may be different. So how much does the flu vaccine cost in Sweden and how do you book your jab?

Can I get the flu vaccine for free in Sweden?

The flu vaccine is recommended and generally offered for free in Sweden to people who belong to one of the following risk groups: If you’re aged 65 or older, if you’re pregnant (usually after week 16 of your pregnancy), if you have a heart condition, a lung condition (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or severe asthma), diabetes, a severely weakened immune system due to illness or treatment, chronic liver or kidney failure, a neuromuscular disease that affects your breathing or multiple disabilities, or if you are severely obese.

Sometimes a doctor’s assessment may be required. If you live together with someone with a severely weakened immune system you are also advised to get vaccinated, as are children who have certain serious health conditions and who are older than six months.

If you do not belong to one of the above groups, your risk of getting seriously ill from the flu is seen as considerably lower and you can’t get the vaccine for free in Sweden. You can however still get vaccinated if you pay for it yourself (more information about this further down).

How do I get vaccinated against the flu in Sweden?

The procedure is different depending on which of Sweden’s 21 regions you live in. You can look it up by going to the page vaccination mot influensa (“vaccination against influenza”) on the healthcare website, then at the top of the page click välj region (“choose region”) and pick your region. Then scroll down to your regional information.

At the time of writing, most regions have said they will start their annual flu vaccination season on November 9th. That usually means that the above risk groups are prioritised for the first few weeks, and other groups have to wait until a later date. The Västra Götaland region, for example, has said it will roll vaccinations out to non-risk groups on November 22nd and Stockholm has said it will wait until December 6th.

How to book your flu shot may also vary across regions (in some regions they send out a text message reminder if you’ve signed up for one or a letter with more information), so it is best to keep up to date by checking your regional 1177 page, or contacting your health centre for more information. At the time of writing not all regions have updated their information for the 2021/22 influenza season.

If you do not belong to a risk group, you can also book your influenza vaccine via a private healthcare provider – if you google influensavaccin and your region you will find several options. Many regions and clinics offer drop-in times or mobile vaccination units.

If you haven’t yet been vaccinated against Covid-19, or if you’re eligible for the third “booster” shot, you may be able to get both vaccines at the same time. The Covid-19 vaccine is free for everyone who lives in Sweden.

How much does the flu vaccine cost in Sweden?

If you belong to a risk group, the flu vaccine is free in all Swedish regions in 2021/2022.

If you do not belong to a risk group, it usually costs around 200-400 kronor depending on where in Sweden you live.

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