Will vaccine stop the pandemic?
A vaccine approved for use in Sweden may be only one of several ways to protect yourself against Covid-19. However vaccine will not be the only solution. Even if a vaccine becomes available, you still need to think about protecting each other from infection by continuing to stay home if you show symptoms, keeping your distance, maintaining good hand hygiene and working from home whenever possible.
How are the vaccines tested before they are approved?
All the medications in the world are developed and tested according to the same principles; first in a laboratory environment through, for example, tests on culture in test tubes, stability tests and animal experiments. Then follow clinical trials in different phases on humans according to special requirements. All medications are tested on the patient group for which they are intended. Read more about vaccine development on the Swedish Medical Products Agency website.
Is the Covid-19 vaccine safe?
Medicines and vaccines are approved on the basis that the benefit must be significantly greater than the risk of serious side effects for their intended use. An approved vaccine is judged to be sufficiently safe. All treatment with drugs carries a certain risk of side effects and therefore it is important that all suspected side effects are reported.
Are the vaccines effective against the new COVID-19 variants?
Data and experiences from the worldwide vaccinations carried out thus far suggest that the vaccines are effective against the virus variant first discovered in the UK. There is not yet sufficient data to say with certainty whether and how the vaccines' effectiveness is affected by other new virus variants of particular importance. The initial results from laboratory analyses show that the vaccine has an effect, but we do not yet know the strength of the protection. Studies of the vaccination effect on other currently known virus variants of particular importance are ongoing.
What does the efficacy of a vaccine mean?
The efficacy of a vaccine is a measure of how much the vaccine reduces the risk of becoming ill at group level in clinical studies. It is a calculation that includes the results of the entire group who participated in a vaccine study.
Does the Covid 19 vaccine affect other medicines and vaccines?
No, these vaccines rarely affect other medicines or vaccines. People who use other common medicines have also been included in the studies that form the basis for the vaccination approval.
What do the Covid-19 vaccines contain?
All substances contained in a vaccine are published when the vaccine is approved and will then appear in the vaccine product information. The Medical Products Agency will publish product information as soon as the vaccine has been approved. Read more at Läkemedelsverket.se: Allmän information om innehållet i vaccin, Läkemedelsfakta
Where can I find a Swedish medication package leaflet for Covid-19 vaccines?
In connection with approval of medicines, such as vaccines, Swedish medication package leaflets are published on the Medical Products Agency website stating the medical facts. There you can read about what the Corona vaccine contains, how it works and what side effects are known. The Swedish Medical Products Agency also has a general page for approved Covid-19 vaccines on its website. Product information can also be found at fass.se.
What are the side-effects of Covid-19 vaccinations?
The most common side effects of vaccination are local side effects at the injection site (tenderness, swelling, redness) but also muscle aches, fever, headache and malaise. These are a natural reaction of the body's immune system. They are usually mild and disappear after a few days. Information on common, uncommon and rare side effects can be found in the medication package leaflet for each vaccine. All treatment with drugs carries a certain risk of side effects. Medicines and vaccines will only be approved if the benefit is significantly greater than the risk in its intended use.
Why should I get vaccinated?
By getting vaccinated, you can protect both yourself and others. COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that can make you severely ill. Even if you personally only contract a mild variant of the disease, other people are at high risk of becoming severely ill. Vaccination protects you from getting ill and also reduces the risk of you infecting others. It helps reduce the spread of infection across society in the long term, which is necessary in order for us to return to normal life. The approved COVID-19 vaccines provide a high degree of protection against serious illness. After vaccination, the body's immune system builds up protection against COVID-19. It is not certain that everyone who gets vaccinated will receive complete protection. However, if you do get ill, you will most likely have a milder form of the disease. In Sweden, vaccination against COVID-19 is voluntary and free.
Can I decide myself whether I want to get vaccinated?
Yes. All vaccinations are voluntary in Sweden, including Covid-19 vaccination. If you are offered a Covid-19 vaccination, you will be able to decide for yourself, based on available knowledge about the illness and the vaccine. You will also receive information about the vaccine before you have to make a decision.
Will everyone be offered vaccination?
At present, Covid-19 vaccination is offered to people who are 18 and older, according to Swedish Public Health Agency recommendations. Those who are most at risk of becoming seriously ill are offered the vaccine first. Initially, vaccination is not offered to people who are 17 or younger or pregnant. However, the situation may change as knowledge levels increase. Depending on the vaccine and the underlying medical problems, vaccination may, in special cases, be discussed with the individual's doctor.
Do I have to pay to be vaccinated against Covid-19?
Covid-19 vaccination will be free of charge to anyone who wants to be vaccinated against the disease.
Does vaccination protect against virus spread?
The Covid-19 vaccine protects you from becoming seriously ill. But everyone must continue to wash their hands, stay at home if experiencing symptoms and keep their distance in order to slow down the infection, even when the Covid-19 vaccine is available.
What is the vaccination schedule in Sweden?
The Public Health Agency of Sweden has produced recommendations for the order in which different groups are to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The schedule for Covid-19 vaccinations also depends on when the vaccines are delivered to Sweden.
The Regions are responsible for carrying out the vaccinations. Go to www.1177.se and read about who is being vaccinated in your Region right now. Make sure you choose your own region.
How is the delivery of vaccines to Sweden and to the Regions distributed?
Sweden is part of an agreement between the EU Commission and several vaccine manufacturers to buy Covid-19 vaccines. Sweden therefore has access to the vaccines at the same time as other EU countries.
In Sweden, the Swedish Public Health Agency then distributes the vaccines to the Regions. This distribution is currently based on the proportion of older people living in the different regions. As we enter other phases of vaccination, other factors will control the distribution. The Regions are responsible for vaccinating the population in accordance with Swedish Public Health Agency recommendations. Read about deliveries of vaccines here.
When and where can I get vaccinated against Covid-19?
On 1177.se/om-vaccin-covid-19 you will find current information about vaccination against Covid-19. There is information about how vaccination is carried out, how you may feel afterwards and general information about how the vaccine is produced and works. Select your region at the top of the page to make sure you are given the right information.
Can I choose which vaccine I get?
Your age and whether you have any underlying disease or risk factor determines the type of vaccine you receive.
Why are the recommendations for Astra Zeneca's vaccine changing?
The vaccines used against COVID-19 must be safe to use. Therefore, all vaccines and possible side effects are continuously monitored. In Europe, Astra Zeneca's vaccine has been administered in over 20 million doses. A small number of cases of younger people with blood clots in combination with bleeding after getting vaccinated have been reported. Therefore, the Public Health Agency of Sweden decided to temporarily suspend the use of Astra Zeneca's vaccine while the European Medical Agency (EMA) investigated whether there was a causal link. The Public Health Agency of Sweden has reviewed EMA's investigation, conducted its own review of the information available regarding the suspected side effects, and had meetings with experts in Sweden and other countries. The assessment is that for people aged 65 and older, Astra Zeneca's vaccine is safe to use and provides very good protection. For them, the vaccine may continue to be used. With respect to younger people, the temporary suspension continues while it is investigated whether or not the incidents with blood clots in combination with bleeding in younger people are linked to the vaccine. You can read more here: Information on Astra Zeneca's COVID-19 vaccine
Why is Astra Zeneca’s vaccine recommended for people over 65?
After a thorough evaluation, the Public Health Agency of Sweden recommends that Astra Zeneca's vaccine should continue to be offered to people born in 1956 or earlier, meaning people aged 65 years and older. No serious side effects have been reported among people in this age group. At the same time, people aged 65 and older are most at risk of becoming seriously ill and dying from COVID-19. Astra Zeneca's vaccine provides very good protection against serious illness. Therefore, the Public Health Agency of Sweden deems it safe and important to use Astra Zeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for this age group. You can read more here: Information on Astra Zeneca's COVID-19 vaccine
Can I have an antibody test instead of getting vaccinated against Covid-19?
No. We still lack knowledge about how much and what type of antibodies are required to be immune to Covid-19. Everyone will therefore be offered a vaccination, regardless of whether they have had the illness or not. Based on previous experience from vaccinations, there is no reason to believe that being vaccinated has any negative effects if you have already had the illness.
Should I be vaccinated even if I have already been ill with Covid 19 and have antibodies?
Yes. We recommend vaccination for everyone who has had Covid 19, including those who have antibodies. Most people who have had covid-19 have developed some form of protection against the disease, but today we do not know how long this protection lasts. You can be vaccinated as soon as you have fully recovered from Covid 19.
I am breastfeeding my baby – can I get vaccinated against Covid 19?
Breastfeeding is not an obstacle to vaccination. It is unknown whether the vaccines are excreted in human milk. There is no reason to believe that the vaccine will cause any side effects in breast-fed babies.
What applies to children?
Generally, children are not currently offered vaccination against Covid-19 as the approved vaccines have not yet been fully tested on children. As knowledge develops, this may change. Children are defined as people up to and including 17 years of age. For children who are at risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 because they have an underlying condition, the child's doctor may make an individual assessment. If the doctor considers that the vaccine can be of great benefit in protecting the child from serious Covid-19 infection, vaccination may be offered.
Can I be vaccinated if I suffer from allergies?
Different vaccines consist of different contents, so the answer depends on which vaccine is relevant and what type of allergy you have. For approved vaccines, product information is provided showing a table of contents and information about whether allergy is an obstacle to vaccination.
Who is responsible for these vaccinations in Sweden?
Different government agencies are responsible for different issues. The Swedish Medical Products Agency is responsible for studying medicines and making decisions on approval of vaccines and for following up safety and efficacy when the vaccines have been rolled out. The Swedish Public Health Agency is responsible for recommending who should be vaccinated. The health service in each region is responsible for carrying out the vaccinations.
I have been vaccinated against Covid 19, do I have to continue following the general recommendations?
Yes, it is important that people who have been vaccinated against Covid 19 continue to follow the general recommendations, even after the vaccine has started to work. Covid 19 is still spreading. We know that the vaccine protects you from becoming seriously ill.
However, there is limited knowledge about the risk of infecting others with the Covid 19 virus if you become ill yourself after being vaccinated. There may be a certain risk that you can then infect others, even if you yourself do not develop any symptoms so we must all continue to follow the general recommendations until more knowledge becomes available. Read more at: After the vaccination - continue to follow general recommendations.
What protection will I have after the Covid 19 vaccination?
The Covid-19 vaccination creates protection against serious illness. The vaccine teaches your immune system how to create antibodies that protect you from the disease. However, it is not certain that everyone who is vaccinated will develop full protection. This applies to all vaccines, not just Covid 19. But you still run much less risk of becoming seriously ill.
How long does it take before I am protected aginst Covid-19?
Depending on the vaccine you receive, different numbers of doses are necessary for good protection against Covid 19.
- Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech): approximately one week after the final dose of Covid 19 vaccine
- COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna: approximately two weeks after the final dose of Covid 19 vaccine
- Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) : approximately 3 weeks after the first dose. Individuals may not be fully protected until 15 days after the second dose.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen: the vaccine begins to take effect about 2 weeks after the single dose.
Do I get some form of certificate when I have been vaccinated against Covid-19?
There is currently no national certificate or standard certificate common to all regions so the government has commissioned the Swedish Agency for Digital Administration (DIGG) to develop a common digital infrastructure for vaccination certificates. The goal is that the digital vaccination certificate will be available by the summer. Before a national solution is in place, it is the vaccinator's responsibility to issue a certificate of vaccination. At the international level, similar work is underway within the EU and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Swedish Public Health Agency and the E-Health Agency have therefore been commissioned by the government to coordinate Swedish participation in digital vaccination certificates at EU level and in the WHO. Read more about the digital vaccination certificate project on the Government website.
Can I catch Covid-19 in spite of being vaccinated?
There is a small risk of becoming infected even after vaccination. The protective effect after 2 doses is assessed as high in vaccine studies, but as with all vaccinations, complete protection cannot be guaranteed. It is therefore important to continue to follow the Swedish Public Health Agency advice and recommendations to reduce the risk of becoming infected or infecting others.
Also keep in mind that it takes 1-2 weeks after the second vaccine dose, depending on which vaccine you have received, before the vaccine starts to give protection.
I have been vaccinated; do I need to get a test if I develop symptoms of Covid-19?
Yes if you have symptoms of Covid-19, it is important that you get tested, even if you have been vaccinated. It is important for you to know if you have Covid-19 so that you do not infect others.
Read more about testing for Covid-19 at https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/smittskydd-beredskap/utbrott/aktuella-utbrott/covid-19/testning-och-smittsparning/
I have just been vaccinated against Covid-19 and have developed symptoms of the illness, should I get tested?
You do not need to be tested if you have just been vaccinated and you have symptoms that are typical side effects of vaccination. Examples of side effects include fatigue, fever, chills, muscle and joint pain or headaches. These side effects should disappear within 24 hours. Stay at home as long as you have symptoms.
If the symptoms persist after 24 hours, go to the website www.1177.se/covid-19-prov and select the region you are in to see what applies to testing.
How long do I have protection against Covid 19 after vaccination?
It is still too early to say how long the protection will last after vaccination. Effects must be followed up over an extended period to be able to show if or when you need to refill with additional doses later.
Can I travel abroad when I have been vaccinated against Covid 19?
Just now, the same recommendations apply when it comes to travelling abroad, regardless of whether you have been vaccinated or not. Check the rules and recommendations that apply in the country you are travelling to. You must also follow the recommendations that apply to the trip itself and stay up-to-date on Ministry for Foreign Affairs travel recommendations. Be prepared that the recommendations may change quickly and that you may need to take tests and/or stay at home for a certain number of days after a trip abroad. Read more at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs: https://www.regeringen.se/uds-reseinformation/.
Why will my vaccination be registered in the National Vaccination Register?
All vaccinations against Covid-19 must be registered in the National Vaccination Register. The information to be registered is personal registration or coordination number, date of vaccination, which vaccine was used, batch number, care provider responsible for the vaccination, vaccine dose number. This is in order to be able to follow up the wider vaccination picture. This information is protected by absolute confidentiality and cannot be accessed via patient records. Everyone is entitled to request this information in accordance with the Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
How do I report suspected side-effects?
Healthcare professionals have a responsibility to report suspected adverse reactions. Private individuals may also report suspected side effects directly to the Swedish Medical Products Agency. There are two ways to do this: Report side effects via the Medical Products Agency e-service or via a form that can be printed out from the Medical Products Agency website and sent to them.