Sweden to recommend fifth COVID-19 shot to those over 65, pregnant women

The recommendation will officially take effect in September.

Updated: May 26, 2022 - 11:40am

Sweden has recommended a fifth COVID-19 vaccine dose for pregnant women,  those with an increased risk of serious infection, and those over 65.

Authorities added earlier this week that the country must "be prepared for an increased spread during the upcoming autumn and winter season."

"The vaccine is our strongest tool for preventing serious illness and death," said Swedish Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren.

The recommendation will officially take effect on September 1, according to the Swedish Public Health Agency. Agency chief Karin Tegmark Wisell said, "In general, the risk of serious illness is assessed as low for adults under the age of 65 who have been vaccinated with three doses, but the risk increases with age and varies within the group."

Throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, Sweden differentiated itself from many European countries by taking a comparatively less severe stance on lockdowns and mandates. The country never enforced a lockdown or mandated that businesses shut their doors.