According to officials on Tuesday, Sweden has recommended a fifth COVID-19 vaccine dose for persons at high risk of being seriously ill, including people over 65 and pregnant women. The country is preparing for an increased spread in the coming autumn and winter.”

“The vaccine has been our most powerful tool in preventing death and serious illness,” Sweden’s Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren said, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic is far from being over.

As of September 1, the country recommends that persons over the age of 65, as well as those over the age of 18 with comorbidities, get another booster shot. According to the Swedish Public Health Agency, the latter group contains pregnant women, individuals with compromised immune systems, and individuals with lung and heart disease.

“Overall, the risk of severe illness is considered low for people below the age of 65 who’ve already received three doses of the vaccine,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, the agency’s chief, said. “However, the risk rises with age and differs by group.”

Among European countries, Sweden stood out for taking a hands-off approach to the pandemic. It never closes or locks down businesses, instead relies on individual accountability.

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