Sweden’s King, 74, and Queen, 77, become the latest European royals to receive Covid-19 vaccine, despite the country not giving jabs for other over-70s for another month
- Sweden’s King, 74, and Queen Silvia, 70, received doses at Stenhammar Castle
- General public over-70s in Sweden will not receive vaccine until next month
- Sweden is one of six countries to complain about a delay in Pfizer shipping
Sweden‘s King Carl XI and Queen Silvia received their first shots of the coronavirus vaccine today.
The Swedish king, 74, and queen, 77, received the shots at Stenhammar Castle this morning despite the vaccine not being rolled out to over-70s till next month for the country’s wider population.
They are both in good health after the dose, Sweden’s Royal Court director of information Margareta Thorgren confirmed.
It comes as Sweden became one of six EU nations to complain about a delay in receiving the Pfizer vaccine today.
The health ministers of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia all signed a letter complaining about a delay in shipments of the vital vaccine.
Sweden’s King Carl XI (pictured) and Queen Silvia received their first shots of the coronavirus vaccine at Stenhammar Castle today
Today, Ms Thorgen said the royal couple are happy that vaccinations have started in Sweden and hope they can set an example.
She declined to detail why the royals received a dose before Phase 2 of the vaccination process begins in Sweden, when over-70s are due to begin receiving the vaccine.
Ms Thorgen told Aftonbladet: ‘It is on the advice of the royal family’s life doctor.’
In a statement, the king said: ‘The great vaccination against Covid-19 is now underway around our country.
‘It is my hope that everyone who has the opportunity to be vaccinated in these coming months chooses to do so, so that together and as soon as possible we can get through this difficult time.’
The announcement comes days after Buckingham Palace revealed the Queen, 94, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, have been given the Covid-19 vaccination at Windsor Castle
King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway received their first dose of the vaccine yesterday while the UK’s Queen, 94, and the Duke of Edinburgh , 99, were given the Covid-19 vaccination at Windsor Castle on Saturday.
The vaccine – developed by Pfizer with German partner BioNTech – started being delivered in the EU at the end of December.
US biotech firm Moderna began delivering its shot this week.
Yet about one third of the 27 EU governments cited ‘insufficient’ doses at a video conference of health ministers on Wednesday, a person who attended the virtual meeting told Reuters.
In a letter sent on Friday, six EU governments asked the European Commission to pressure Pfizer-BioNTech ‘to ensure stability and transparency of timely (vaccine) deliveries’.
‘This situation is unacceptable,’ said the letter, signed by the health ministers of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
‘Not only does it impact the planned vaccination schedules, it also decreases the credibility of the vaccination process.’
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she had spoken to Pfizer and been reassured that scheduled deliveries will be made in the first quarter of 2021.
Pfizer said there would be a temporary impact on shipments in late January to early February caused by changes to manufacturing processes to boost production.
‘Although this will temporarily impact shipments in late January to early February, it will provide a significant increase in doses available for patients in late February and March,’ Pfizer said in a statement.
EUROPE APPROVES MODERNA JAB… BUT IT’S OFF LIMITS TO BRITAIN
Europe’s drug regulator today approved Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine and will get supplies from next week thanks to a deal it struck in summer last year.
But Britain will miss out on early access to the vaccine because it officially left the EU last week and did not place its own order early enough to get an exclusive supply.
UK regulators didn’t rush to approve the vaccine when phase three trials finished at the end of last year because it couldn’t get any delivered until the spring.
They will now have to do their own assessment of the jab because the automatic carry-over for licences granted by the EU ended with Brexit.
Moderna’s jab, which appears to be just as good as Pfizer/BioNTech’s and works in the same way, is already being used on members of the public in the US.
The US got first dibs on supplies of the jab in exchange for funding its research and development, and other countries were offered deliveries early in 2021.
Experts on the European Medicines Agency gave the vaccine their seal of approval today and the European Commission finalised a deal for 180million doses.
Europe pencilled in a deal in August and deliveries of the first batches will begin next week, Moderna confirmed today. The company ‘continues to be in discussion’ with the UK.
Scientists in the UK said not ordering Moderna’s vaccine earlier was not an error because it would have been a gamble to order another vaccine the same as Pfizer’s, both of which use the same technology that had never been tried before Covid-19.
But as Britain is now scrambling to vaccinate millions of people every week and fears being hamstrung by supply shortages, an extra jab could have been a blessing.
— to www.dailymail.co.uk