Vaccine shortage has one county council postponing booster shots

A shortage of vaccines for children in Sweden has one county council, Sörmland, temporarily forgoing the vaccination of five and six-year-olds who would normally get booster shots.

In Sweden five and six-year-olds typically get a booster shot - a sort of vaccination refill - that protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio. But those shots have been particularly affected by the shortage.

Pediatric chief physician Ylva Tindberg told Swedish Radio that it might take until early next year before vaccinations can get started again and that the shortage has to do with production deficits with the vaccine manufacturer and a greater demand in the Europe.

The county council says that postponing the booster shot, in most cases, does not involve greater risk of becoming seriously ill. But children who contract whooping cough, in particular, can infect others who are in danger, for example pregnant mothers or newborns.