SÄVAR – Västerbotten officials announced this afternoon that the first coronavirus vaccinations in Umeå will be given on Tuesday, December 29. The first people to be vaccinated are residents of the nursing homes in Teg, and Dragonen in the city center. Local officials set down this vaccination schedule after the European Union yesterday approved the vaccine manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
“We are very happy that we can already start vaccinating during the days between Christmas and New Year’s”, said Malin Sundbom, manager of nursing homes for the City of Umeå. “It’s been a tough year, and it feels fantastic to get this positive news. Six nurses will work together with doctors and another regional nurse on the vaccinations.”
The priority by which people are given the vaccine has been laid down by Sweden’s public health agency, based on how much risk they have of getting serious complications. First priority goes to residents of nursing homes, elderly people who are being cared for at home, and nursing home staff. Västerbotten officials are still working on the schedule for after New Year’s, but they said that the goal is that further vaccinations will continue in January. The general public will be offered the vaccine in March, and most of the population will have received it by July, they said.
Whether or not they can match this schedule depends upon “how deliveries of the vaccine proceed in the future and what the Public Health Agency’s continued prioritiy order will look like,” said Ronny Lestander, the region’s vaccine coordinator.
200 doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in Umeå on Sunday, December 27, in what the region called “a challenge in terms of materials, resources, and logistics”, particularly during the holidays. “The number of doses that are expected to arrive in January and February is approximately the same as before,” Lestander said, “but they can come in more, and smaller, deliveries.” Having the vaccinations in December is earlier than the region predicted; Lestander told Umeå Today last month that he expected them only to begin in the New Year.
Residents and relatives at the nursing homes will be contacted by staff from the municipality prior being offered the vaccine, officials said. No appointment will be required.