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The Swedish Public Health Agency announced today a larger proportion of the population will probably be offered a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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However, the extent is currently unclear and depends, among other things, on possible new virus variants and on what various research studies will show about the protective effect of vaccines over time.

The Swedish Public Health Agency estimates that the broad vaccination of the entire adult population will be completed in the autumn of 2021, when instead mainly 16-17-year-olds and adults, who have so far chosen not to be vaccinated, will be offered vaccination. During the autumn, certain risk groups may also be offered a refill dose, primarily older residents in SÄBO, people older than 80 years and people with severely weakened immune systems.

The assessment is that it is not possible to eradicate the virus and therefore vaccination work should be long-term and focused on reducing serious illness and death. It is still important that we have a special focus on vaccination of groups and residents in geographical areas with low vaccination coverage, says Anders Tegnell, state epidemiologist.

In the next few years, the vaccinations against covid-19 will probably be carried out with one or two mRNA vaccines and possibly an adjuvanted protein-based vaccine that can function as a complement.

The overall work with vaccination against covid-19 in Sweden is done in four stages, where the first stage has been mass vaccination of the adult population. Step two is to reach groups with a low vaccination rate and possibly give refill doses for groups with the highest risk of serious illness and step three to possibly give a larger part of the population a refill dose. Work on a more long-term vaccination program in stage four will be developed during the autumn and the availability of vaccines is currently assessed as good for several years to come.