300,000 now vaccinated in Sweden

2021-02-09 15:36:32 GMT2021-02-09 23:36:32(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Video PlayerClose

STOCKHOLM, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Around 300,000 individuals have now been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Sweden, the country's Public Health Agency said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"Many of those who have been worst affected by the pandemic have now received protection," state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said.

Seventy-five percent of those living in nursing homes have already received at least one vaccine dose, while 29.5 percent have received both doses required for protection. Due to a lag in reporting, the numbers should in reality be higher.

As Sweden is preparing for the second phase of its inoculation program, the turn has come to those aged 65 and older. Younger individuals who belong to groups considered especially vulnerable, such as those in need of dialysis or who have received transplants, are also included.

New figures also show that the willingness to be vaccinated has reached the highest level recorded. Eighty-five percent of the population are now positive about being vaccinated.

Despite the vaccination program moving ahead, there are no signs that the COVID-19 situation will improve in the short term, Tegnell said.

He also received questions regarding the upcoming winter school holidays. Unlike in many other European countries, ski resorts are open in Sweden despite the pandemic and there are concerns that skiing holidays could worsen the situation.

"Is it better if all those living in Stockholm go to a shopping mall instead of to the mountains and keep their distance? The former could mean a greater risk with regard to the spread of infection," Tegnell said.

"It is important for our general wellbeing that we are physically active. It's a jigsaw puzzle and there are no easy answers."

The country had recorded 12,188 COVID-19 deaths by Tuesday, 73 more than last Friday. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases had increased by 8,112 to 596,174.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 238 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Feb. 2. Enditem