STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Stockholm’s Blue Hall, where leading scientists, politicians and royalty gather for the glittering Nobel Prize banquet, will be used to vaccinate the Swedish capital’s citizens against COVID-19, a city commissioner said on Wednesday.
The 1,500 square metre hall, which each year hosts Sweden’s most sought-after social event, will soon be a temporary venue for Stockholmers to receive their shots.
The large space is seen as ideal for administering vaccines.
“The vaccination process is very demanding. Sports halls and large premises such as the Blue Hall are suitable for effective and infection-proof vaccinations,” Stockholm finance chief Anna Konig Jerlmyr said.
Sweden, whose rejection of lockdowns thrust it into the global spotlight, has a death toll from the virus of more than 11,000. Its death rate per capita is several times higher than its Nordic neighbours, but lower than several European countries that opted for lockdowns.
The black tie and ball gown event was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic – the first time it had been cancelled since 1956, when it was dropped in protest at the Soviet Union’s invasion of Hungary.
(Reporting by Colm Fulton; editing by Niklas Pollard and Giles Elgood)