The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Updated 26 March 2021

Information on the continued use of the Astra Zeneca vaccine in the vaccination of people 65 and older

The Public Health Agency of Sweden is recommending that Astra Zeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine should continue to be used in Sweden to protect people aged 65 and over from the disease known as COVID-19.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has decided that Astra Zeneca’s vaccine against COVID-19 can continue to be used in Sweden to protect people aged 65 and over (people born in 1956 and earlier) from COVID-19.

Since mid-March, the use of the Astra Zeneca vaccine has been suspended pending an investigation into a few reported cases of blood clots in combination with bleeding.

The decision to resume the use of the vaccine is based on the opinion of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and consultations with experts in both Sweden and other countries.

Following its investigation, the EMA has concluded that there is no increase in blood clots among vaccinated people. In Europe, 20 million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine have been administered. The vaccine provides very good protection against severe COVID-19. Assessment of the vaccine has determine that it reduces the risk of infection and helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 in society.

The overall assessment thus means that the temporary suspension of the use of the vaccine can be lifted for people aged 65 and over. Every vaccination is a step towards being able to return to a life without the restrictions that are in place right now.

Vaccination protects against disease

There is a very serious risk that people infected with COVID-19 can develop severe illness. This risk is especially great for older people (aged 65 years and older).

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent infection and protect against diseases. Yet just like any other medicine, vaccines can cause side effects.

Mild side effects are normal

After a vaccination, it is normal to have mild side effects. You might experience some tenderness, swelling or redness at the injection site, or your upper arm might become itchy. Some people might feel generally unwell or develop a short-term fever and/or headaches. This is to be expected and is a sign that the immune system is responding. These symptoms are usually mild and will pass after a few days. Allergic reactions are very rare.

The EMA has concluded that there is no link between the vaccine and common blood clots. If you have had a blood clot of any kind and are taking blood thinners or medication to prevent blood clots, you can be vaccinated with the Astra Zeneca vaccine.

Unusual case reports in younger people are being investigated

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) continues to investigate the small number of case reports of blood clots in combination with bleeding that have been seen in a few younger people (under the age of 65).

It has not been established that these symptoms were caused by the vaccine, only that they have occurred in younger people following vaccination. The symptoms also occur in unvaccinated people, but are very rare.

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Questions and answers about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination