The main news today in Umeå is the announcement that 16 and 17-year-olds here will be able to receive their coronavirus vaccine in August, according to local officials. Region Västerbotten did not put out a press release saying this, but its vaccination coordinator, Ronny Lestander, gave the news to SVT television. Lestander emphasized that it is important for high-schoolers to get vaccinated before schools open for the fall. The inoculations will be delivered at the regular vaccine center at Nolia, rather than in schools themselves, because “these are very tricky vaccines to handle,” Lestander said. Exactly which week in August is still unclear.
This announcement is important, because Umeå has been somewhat behind other parts of Norrland, in percentage of adults vaccinated. As you can see from the maps attached to this article, vaccination rates are lower in Umeå than, for example, Lycksele or Robertsfors. Furthermore, Västerbotten in general is, on the whole, behind much of central and northern Sweden. Skåne is already allowing 18-year-olds to book their vaccinations, starting today; in Västerbotten, 25-year-olds are still waiting to reserve a time.
Why does all this matter for Umebor? First of all, it’s important for the public to keep a close eye on regional officials, in order to make sure that they are working as hard as they can to get vaccinations out to the public. Beyond that, you probably know someone who has kids 16-years-old or above; and you can tell them now that they probably will get their vaccine in August. This affects travel plans, activities, and the ability to safely go to school.