Infants To Get Swine Flu Jab

Updated 16:02

Sweden's health authorities have lowered the age limit for getting the Pandemrix vaccine against Swine Flu from three years to six months, according to Swedish News Agency TT.

That means another 250 000 children will be eligible to get the jab, which is free of charge for all Swedes.

There were fears that the vaccine hadn't been tested enough on infants, but the Swedish Drugs Administration and Swedish Board of Health and Welfare have now changed their minds after looking at the results of clinical trials carried out in Spain. They say the fact that small children have been hit hard by the Swine Flu virus has also led to the decision.

Meanwhile the Swine Flu outbreak continues to grow in Sweden. 1 233 positive test results were reported last week, that's almost double the number the week before, but authorities say the actual number of infected is much higher, as the vast majority of suspected sufferers aren't even tested for the illness.

The number of people off sick from work also increased last week, reaching the highest level so far this autumn. 3,9 % of the Swedish workforce was off sick last week. Seven out of ten of those who stayed at home did so due to fever and symptoms of a cold, or in order to take care of an ill child.

But so far, the spread of Swine Flu has not really made an impact on the number of people off sick, according to the health company Previa, which has collected the statistics.

Meanwhile, the vaccination campaign to try to stop the pandemic in its tracks continues.

However, as Radio Sweden has reported earlier, in areas where many immigrants live, the number of people who are prepared to take the vaccine is lower than elsewhere in the country. Swedish Radio News report that only between 20 and 30 % of the parents in northern Botkyrka south of Stockholm have said yes to let their children be vaccinated. This can be compared to over 80 % in other parts of Stockholm.

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