Swedish government makes U-turn: Children as young as six months can receive covid vaccine

The criticized covid vaccinations

Published 12 November 2023
- By Editorial Staff
Social affairs minister and Christian Democrat Jakob Forssmed describes it as "unsatisfactory" that children can no longer be vaccinated against covid in Sweden.

The Swedish government is now making it possible for parents to choose covid vaccination for their children, despite the public health agency still not recommending it. The decision comes after what is described as “a thorough review” of Sweden’s laws and regulations.

Previously, the public health agency recommended children from 12 years of age to take the covid vaccine, a recommendation that was removed about a year ago. In connection with this, it also meant that parents who wanted to vaccinate their children against covid did not have the opportunity to do so, which led to some parents even going abroad to have their children vaccinated.

Last spring, the government announced that it intended to investigate whether it would be possible for private actors to administer the covid vaccine, provided that there was a national surplus of the vaccine. This would also mean the possibility for parents to have their children vaccinated against covid in Sweden.

The government has now decided that parents should be able to choose covid vaccination for their children in public administration, tax-funded SR reports. Social minister Jakob Forssmed of the Christian Democrats believes that it has been an “unsatisfactory situation” when parents sought vaccinations abroad and argues that it should not be legal to deny parents the right to vaccinate their children.

– We have conducted a thorough review of the laws and regulations surrounding vaccines for covid-19 and can conclude that there are no legal obstacles, says Forssmed.

The distribution of the vaccine will be handled by Sweden’s regions, where the decision delegates the responsibility to each region to organize and carry out the vaccinations. This applies to children from the age of six months and upwards.

Earlier this week, the government also launched a new covid vaccination campaign where they want everyone who falls within the public health agency’s recommendations to take new injections. Among others, all those who are 65 years or older, pregnant, as well as people from 18 years who are defined in some other risk group, and also those between 50 and 64 years who have not taken previous shots, are recommended. Children who, after individual medical assessment, are deemed to have a particularly high risk of serious illness from covid, and who have not previously received covid vaccine injections, are also recommended to get the shot.

Children who are not in a risk group are therefore still not recommended to take the vaccine, according to the public health agency.

 

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