Sweden has decided not to recommend covid vaccines for children aged 5-11, the health authority said on Thursday and claimed that the benefits did not outweigh the risks. “With the knowledge we have today, with a low risk of serious diseases for children, we see no clear advantage in vaccinating them,” said Britta Björkholm, health authority official, at a press conference.
She added that the decision could be reconsidered if the research changed or if a new variant changed the pandemic. Children in high-risk groups can already receive the vaccine. Sweden registered more than 40,000 new cases on January 26, one of the highest daily figures during the pandemic, despite limited tests. While the fourth wave has seen daily infection records broken, healthcare is not under the same strain as during previous waves.
On Thursday, 101 patients with covid needed intensive care, well below the more than 400 patients in the spring of 2021. In total, almost 16,000 people have died of covid in Sweden since the pandemic started. On Wednesday, the Swedish government extended the restrictions, which included limited opening hours for restaurants and a visitor ceiling for indoor premises, by two weeks, but said they hope to be able to remove them on 9 February.
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