STOCKHOLM — Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says older people in retirement homes and staff in nursing homes, an estimated 570,000 people, will be the first to get vaccinated once European regulators give their approval.
He said Friday that after the European Medicines Agency and the European Commission approve a vaccine, “we will get started. The vaccine will reach all parts of our country.”
Lofven says the Scandinavian country that opted for a different approach to handling the pandemic by keeping large sections of society open and relied mainly on recommendations to its population, “must be ready to start as soon as the vaccine or vaccine arrives in the country.”
He says, “A year ago, we had not even heard of COVID-19. Now we are planning for vaccination. It is huge.”
He called it “a light in these dark weeks” and added it would be free of charge.
Johan Carlsson, head of Sweden’s Public Health Agency, warned that the pandemic isn’t over just because a vaccine arrives.