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When will the new Covid-19 vaccines be available in Sweden?

The European Commission has recently approved three new Covid-19 vaccines, targeting both the original virus and the dominating Omicron variants. When are these expected to be available in Sweden?

When will the new Covid-19 vaccines be available in Sweden?
File photo of Covid-19 vaccines. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The first vaccines, approved on September 1st, are the Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.1 and Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron BA.1. These are booster vaccines which will be available for those aged 12 and above who have completed one course of the vaccine against Covid-19.

These two vaccines are designed to target the original strain of the virus, SARS-CoV-2, as well as the Omicron BA.1 subvariant.

Deliveries of this vaccine have recently started to arrive in Sweden, although it may take a few weeks before doses have been distributed to each of Sweden’s regions.

The third vaccine, approved on September 12th, is an adapted version of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), designed to target the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 in addition to the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. These are the two variants which have dominated Covid-19 infections in Sweden this summer.

“The vaccine contains half the original vaccine and half of a vaccine for the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5,” vaccine coordinator Charlotta Bergquist at the Swedish Medical Products Agency told TT newswire.

This vaccine is also a booster vaccine, available to those aged 12 and above who have already completed one full course of Covid-19 vaccination.

The Public Health Agency expect delivery of this second vaccine to commence in October.

You don’t need to wait for the new vaccine

From September 1st, those with an increased risk of severe illness due to Covid-19, as well as pregnant women and those over the age of 65 have been eligible for booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in preparation for the autumn and winter season.

However, the Public Health Agency does not recommend that those who are currently eligible for a booster dose wait until the new vaccines have been delivered, rather that they should take their booster dose with the current vaccine as planned.

“People don’t need to wait for the updated vaccines,” Sören Andersson, head of department at the Public Health Agency said.

“We deem them to be equal when it comes to protection against serious illness and death,” he continued.

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COVID-19

Sweden has no plans to introduce Covid-19 restrictions this winter

Sweden's government is not planning on bringing in new Covid-19 restrictions or recommendations, despite the spread of infection increasing, according to health minister Jakob Forssmed.

Sweden has no plans to introduce Covid-19 restrictions this winter

In an interview with public broadcaster Sveriges Radio, health minister Jakob Forssmed said that the government was “prepared if the situation becomes worse than what we’re currently seeing”.

“However, we’ve made the assessment that the illness is no longer a danger to society. The pandemic is still here, but we’re in a new phase,” he told the radio.

There are no plans to introduce large-scale testing either, Forssmed said, adding that following the spread of infection in other ways, such as testing waste water, is currently sufficient.

“It might be necessary at some point to scale up to large-scale testing. But it’s also very expensive and requires a lot of resources, and the assessment now is that it can be tracked in other ways,” he said.

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