Sweden decides against recommending COVID vaccines for kids aged 5-12

Sweden’s Health Agency officials said the government has decided against recommending COVID-19 vaccines for children aged five to 11 as the benefits do not outweigh the risks.

“With the knowledge, we have today, with a low risk for a serious disease for kids, we don’t see any clear benefit with vaccinating them,” Health Agency official Britta Bjorkholm said on Thursday.

Bjorkholm added that the decision could be revisited if the research changed or if a new variant changed the pandemic, however, children in high-risk groups can already get the vaccine.

On Thursday, 101 patients with COVID-19 required intensive care, a much lower number against the cases recorded during spring 2021 with more than 400 patients. 

In total, nearly 16,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Sweden since the pandemic started.

The Swedish government extended restrictions for two weeks beginning Wednesday, which included limited opening hours for restaurants and an attendance cap for indoor venues but said it hoped to remove them on Feb 9.

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