Sweden Pushes Inoculation Target Back After J&J Vaccine Pause

Sweden’s government delayed its national vaccination target for a second time in a month, after the country’s health agency decided to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson’s shots.

According to the new target, all adults are to be offered at least one dose of vaccine before Sept. 5, a three-week delay compared to the previous goal of Aug. 15.

The Swedish Health Agency decided earlier this month to halt the use of the J&J vaccine, following reports of possible risks for serious side effects among younger people. The Nordic nation, which lags the vaccination pace of many advanced economies, also postponed its inoculation goal at the beginning of April due to delivery delays. It had earlier planned for the vaccination effort to reach the entire adult population by mid-year.

“The spread of the infection is still at a high level,” the health agency’s director general Johan Carlson said at a news conference on Friday, adding that vaccination is “progressing rapidly.”

Having reported more than 14 000 deaths -- a much higher toll than that of its regional peers -- the largest Nordic economy largely abandoned its earlier anti-lockdown approach this year to fight the spread of new virus strains. The country has only managed to fully vaccinate 9% of its population so far.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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