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COVID-19

Sweden rolls out Covid-19 booster shot to over-65s

Sweden will offer a third Covid-19 vaccine dose to everyone over the age of 65 – and in due course the booster shot will be offered to all adults, said Swedish health officials.

Sweden rolls out Covid-19 booster shot to over-65s
Health Minister Lena Hallengren and Public Health Agency director-general Johan Carlson at a previous press conference. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Health Minister Lena Hallengren and Public Health Agency director-general Johan Carlson announced the news at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Nursing home residents, those with at-home care, and all over 80 years old were previously eligible for a third dose, and the new decision means it will now be rolled out to all over-65s.

People who work in elderly care will also be offered the booster shot.

No exact starting date was announced at the press conference, but the third vaccine dose should be taken six months after the second dose at the earliest, said Hallengren.

This means that around 1.5 million Swedes will soon be able to get a booster shot, reports the TT newswire, but eventually the third dose will be offered to everyone aged over 16, said Carlson. He said it would be rolled out in steps during winter and spring.

The Public Health Agency recommends that the third dose should be one of the mRNA vaccines, regardless of which vaccine was administered as the first or second dose. This means that someone who has already been given two doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine Vaxzevria will get Pfizer/Biontech’s Comirnaty vaccine or half a dose of Moderna’s Spikevax as their third dose.

It will be up to Sweden’s 21 regions to decide how to organise their vaccination programmes, so exactly when you can get vaccinated and how to book your third dose will depend on where in Sweden you live. The best way to keep up to date is to check your regional page on the 1177.se healthcare website (click “välj region” in the top menu to choose your region).

Member comments

  1. Useless giving a third shot two years in. Virus mutation is significant, adapt towards dominating strains. Choose three at the time of development start. Vaccinate against the one that dominates after regulatory affairs are done. This stuff is no rocket science. It is like running your computer on windows xp.

      1. mRNA vaccines encode for a protein. In all approved mRNA vaccines it is the original sequence. The Virus has mutated a dozen times and evades immune responses against earlier strains. Ergo, useless after two years. Look for the recent lancet study, where they have done longitudinal studies. Delta already evades significantly. Wait for your Winter strain to hit. Need more information? Happy to provide more for you who lacks understanding.

        1. The spike protein, how the virus integrates in to a cell, is the part that matters. That hasn’t changed all that much and so there isn’t much in the way of changes to be made. Plus, not every variant affects those.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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