Sweden recommends 5th COVID-19 vaccine to risk groups

Sweden is recommending a fifth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for people most at risk of severe illness, including pregnant women and any adult over 65, officials said Tuesday.

Officials said the country should “be prepared for further spread during the upcoming fall and winter season.”

“The vaccine is our most powerful tool to prevent serious illness and death,” said Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren, adding that the pandemic is not over.

Sweden recommends another booster for those over 65 in general and those over 18 in risk groups from September 1. The Public Health Agency said the latter includes pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and people with heart and lung disease.

“Overall, the risk of severe disease is assessed as low for adults under 65 years of age who have been vaccinated with three doses, but the risk increases with age and varies within the group,” said agency head Karin Tegmark Wisell.

For most of the pandemic, Sweden stood out among European nations for its comparatively non-interventionist response. She never ordered quarantines or closed businesses, relying heavily on individual responsibility.

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