The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Updated 13 May 2020

Testing, vaccination, and treatment

Testing, vaccination, and treatment

  • The healthcare services in Sweden prioritise the following groups:

    • Hospitalised patients
    • Health or elderly care personnel with suspected COVID-19

    The aim to prioritise this way is to protect the most vulnerable and the most exposed groups in the society.

    Anyone who is ill with symptoms of cold or flu should stay at home in order to minimise the risk of spreading the disease to others. This group will not be prioritised for testing.

    The county medical officers may adapt strategies for testing to local conditions.

    Updated: 5/13/2020 1:26:45 PM

  • The Public Health Agency is doing a survey in Stockholm to assess the level of COVID-19 in the community. In early April, approximately 4000 people were asked if they wanted to participate by providing samples. Participation is voluntary.

    This survey is one way of gathering information about the number of people in the community infected with COVID-19. Since people with mild symptoms are asked to stay at home, mainly patients with severe symptoms are being tested when admitted to hospital.

    It is not possible to sign up for this survey. Participants are randomly selected from the Public Health Agency's regular survey panel. Results are expected in early May. A similar, smaller survey has been done previously in Stockholm.

    More information is available here (in Swedish).

    Updated: 5/13/2020 1:26:41 PM

  • So-called serological tests are being developed. They detect antibodies in the blood and can be used in order to find out if a person has had an infection with the new coronavirus. There are no reliable tests of this kind available yet. When they become available, they will primarily be used for testing healthcare and social care staff.

    Serological tests are not useful during the acute illness, since they only, after some time of infection, detect whether someone has, or has had COVID-19.

    Updated: 5/13/2020 1:27:49 PM

  • There are test kits for COVID-19 promoted for home use by the manufacturers. We currently do not recommend these tests, since they are much less reliable than the tests used in healthcare.

    The methods used in the healthcare system are highly sensitive and specific. Tests are combined with clinical observations, epidemiological information, and patient history to support a diagnosis. A test with low sensitivity, or used during the wrong phase of the infection, might indicate that you do not have COVID-19 although you are actually infected.

    Updated: 5/13/2020 1:28:52 PM

  • There is currently no vaccine and no approved medicine against COVID-19. Any treatment given in severe cases of illness serves to support the patient’s lungs and other internal organs.

    Research on pharmacological treatments and a vaccine against COVID-19 is conducted ongoing in Sweden and internationally. The Swedish Medical Products Agency collaborates with its European and global counterparts in these efforts.

    Updated: 5/13/2020 1:31:16 PM

  • No, the pneumococcal vaccine only protects you from diseases caused by certain types of the pneumococcus bacterium.

    Vaccination against pneumococci does not decrease the risk of contracting COVID-19. The pneumonia some patients infected with COVID-19 get, is caused by the coronavirus itself.

    Updated: 5/13/2020 1:32:07 PM