Sweden’s public health department Wednesday recommended people 80 years old and up received a second COVID-19 booster shot – a fourth vaccine shot overall – to combat the novel coronavirus, according to The New York Times.
- Sweden, which has removed COVID-19 restrictions, said the coronavirus is causing long-term health issues for young people, too.
Why they’re saying: “We believe that people who are 80 years and older will benefit” from a fourth shot, said Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s public health agency, per The New York Times.
Why it matters: “The country is among the few places to recommend a fourth dose as a booster, beyond the initial shots and one booster that experts say most adults should receive, ”according to The New York Times.
The bigger picture: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is effective against the coronavirus, but the effectiveness wanes after about four months, as I reported for the Deseret News.
- During the omicron variant’s initial spread, the COVID-19 booster shot’s effectiveness against COVID-19 emergency room visits and hospitalizations were 87% and 91%, respectively, during the two months after a third dose.
- The effectiveness numbers dropped to 66% and 78%, respectively, by the fourth month after a third COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to the CDC.