Virus: Sweden pushes back vaccination target by at least two months

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Sweden postponed Thursday by at least two months its COVID-19 vaccination target, which until then had planned to fully vaccinate all adult volunteers by the end of June, due to delays in deliveries from manufacturers.

• Read also: All the developments of the pandemic

The new target is that all Swedes over the age of 18 can have received their first dose by August 15, the government and health authorities said at a press conference.

For those over 65, the goal is for all volunteers to have received their first dose by May 16.

The vaccination schedule set at the start of the year had been under serious threat for several weeks because of the delays announced by the manufacturers of the vaccines approved in Europe, in particular by AstraZeneca.

He expected that all over 18s would be fully vaccinated before the end of June.

The government has not communicated a new target for complete vaccination at two doses, stressing that the injection gap between two doses could for some vaccines go up to nine to twelve weeks, and that it was variable according to Laboratories.

“For this reason, we can not say when everyone will have had their second dose,” said Minister of Health Lena Hallengren.

Sweden stood out in the coronavirus crisis by the absence of containment and a strategy based on recommendations rather than coercive measures, with very limited use of masks in public spaces.

With more than 13,400 deaths and 800,000 cases for 10.3 million inhabitants, the overall assessment is mixed: it is significantly heavier than its Nordic neighbors, but also less than the countries most affected in Europe, including with significant restrictions.

Sweden is currently facing a third wave, with an incidence rate in the European top 10, according to the WHO.

But the proliferation of confinements elsewhere in Europe has also given credence to a strategy that aims to be a “marathon” and wants to take into account the mental and health state of society as a whole.

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