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Sweden pushes back timeline for widespread vaccination due to jab shortages

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:44, April 02, 2021

STOCKHOLM, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Sweden has pushed back its target to vaccinate all adults against COVID-19 due to vaccine shortages, the government said Thursday.

The new target date for the widespread vaccination among the country's adults is Aug. 15, instead of by the end of June as previously planned, the government said in a press conference.

"The problem is that there are no known stocks of approved vaccines in addition to the agreements we have already signed," Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren said.

"The companies have not been able to deliver in full according to the agreements. This means that there is not enough vaccine available to be able to follow the original plan," said the minister.

According to statistics from the Swedish Public Health Agency, just under 1.162 million individuals had had the first injection by Thursday. This corresponds to 14.3 percent of the country's adult population.

The number of individuals who had had two doses and therefore were fully vaccinated was 499,000 or 6.1 percent of the adult population.

The unavailability of vaccines is also a problem for other European countries, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in a report released earlier this week.

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

Meanwhile, 268 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 84 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to the latest data released by the World Health Organization.

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