The government wants to examine the conditions for allowing private actors to inject Swedes with the criticized covid vaccine, even if it would go against current recommendations.
This after it emerged that there are parents who expressed that they still want their children to take the vaccine, which is no longer possible after the Public Health Agency of Sweden removed the recommendation to do so.
It was in November 2022 that the Public Health Agency of Sweden removed the recommendations to vaccinate children between 12 and 17 years of age. The reason given is the “low risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 among children and adolescents” and therefore only certain children in so-called risk groups are offered the vaccine.
At the same time, there have been cases where parents have gone against the Public Health Agency’s recommendation and even traveled to other countries to have their children vaccinated, tax-funded Swedish Radio reported in March.
Minister of Social Affairs Jakob Forssmed and Minister of Health Acko Ankarberg Johansson announced at a press conference that they are now reviewing the possibilities for private actors to carry out the injections, if there is a national surplus. The reasons given by the government are precisely parents who want to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19 and also those who want to be vaccinated for travel. Right now, covid vaccination is required for Swedish citizens to enter Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Liberia, Indonesia and the United States.
Currently, only operators who have direct agreements with the regions can distribute vaccines. Forssmed calls the situation “unsatisfactory” and argues that Sweden differs from other Western countries in that it only provides COVID-19 vaccines according to recommendations.
– This would mean that private vaccinators would be able to sell the vaccine to the part of the population that is not allowed to take the vaccine anymore, such as parents who want to inject their children, says Forssmed.
On the 1st of March this year, new recommendations were issued encouraging mainly older people and risk groups to inject themselves. People aged 80 and above, as well as those living in special housing for the elderly, are encouraged by the Public Health Agency to take two injections with refill doses during the coming year.
During the press conference, Forssmed also urged the public to follow the current recommendations and called on municipalities and regions to “increase efforts to raise the vaccination rate” for those over 80 years old.
People aged between 50 and 79 are also advised to take a booster dose during the year. It is also recommended to have a “basic vaccination”, which means three doses, already in place. People between 18 and 49 are not recommended to take a booster dose or to have a basic vaccination, although the basic doses are still available.
The Swedish Public Health Agency emphasizes that there is currently “good protection against COVID-19” in “virtually everyone in Sweden” and that children and young adults have mainly built up protection through one or more infections.