Sweden’s public health department Wednesday recommended people 80 years old and up received a second COVID-19 booster shot — a fourth vaccine shot overall — to combat the novel coronavirus, according to The New York Times.

  • Sweden, which has removed COVID-19 restrictions, said the coronavirus is causing long-term health issues for young people, too.

Why they’re saying: “We believe that people who are 80 years and older will benefit” from a fourth shot, said Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s public health agency, per The New York Times.

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Why it matters: “The country is among the few places to recommend a fourth dose as a booster, beyond the initial shots and one booster that experts say most adults should receive,” according to The New York Times.

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The bigger picture: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is effective against the coronavirus, but the effectiveness wanes after about four months, as I reported for the Deseret News.

  • During the omicron variant’s initial spread, the COVID-19 booster shot’s effectiveness against COVID-19 emergency room visits and hospitalizations were 87% and 91%, respectively, during the two months after a third dose.
  • The effectiveness numbers dropped to 66% and 78%, respectively, by the fourth month after a third COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to the CDC.
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