ÅLIDHEM – A coronavirus vaccine was delivered for the first time in Umeå this morning, to Hilding Grabbe, a resident of Dragonen nursing home the city center. The actual injection took about seven seconds and was performed by nurse Anna Höglund.
“I didn’t feel anything,” Grabbe said immediately afterwards. Later he added, “It is good to able to relax from this misery soon.”
Health care workers plan to vaccinate about 100 people at Dragonen today, and many more tomorrow at Teg nursing home.
“Many older people have been worried, and naturally miss their loved ones,” said Malin Sundbom, who manages nursing homes for the City. “The vaccinations are giving them hope that they will soon be able to meet again, and hug and be social, as usual.”
More doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in Umeå at the end of the week, as well as in other cities and towns in Västerbotten, allowing vaccinations to continue straight through on Thursday and Friday. Ronny Lestander, the region’s vaccine coordinator, pointed out the logistical complexity of getting the vaccine to residents across such a geographically large area. “It’s quite a puzzle having the vaccine end up in the right place at the right time, because time windows are short, but we have a good plan,” he said. “I don’t think there should be any problems.”
The order of priority for vaccination in Umeå follows that laid down by the federal government. The first people to get the injection are residents of nursing homes, or elderly in home care. People who work closely, or live with, high-risk individuals, also receive first priority.
Next, others over 70 years old will be prioritized, as well as more health care workers and anyone else at increased risk of becoming seriously ill due to the virus. After those people receive the vaccine, officials plan to offer it to anyone over 18. The region says its goal is to give all Västerbotten residents the chance to have the vaccine by June.
For the time being, however, officials insist that Umeå residents should closely follow government social distancing guidelines to help prevent the infection’s spread. “Right now, people have a lot of free time to be social or go shopping, but I ask everyone to be responsible and help slow the virus from spreading,” said Stephan Stenmark, a regional infection control doctor.
In total, almost 8000 people in Västerbotten have been found to be carrying the coronavirus. 29 are in the hospital, with four in intensive care. 80 people have died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Nationally, 8279 deaths have been attributed to the virus, and some 1.75 million worldwide.