Sweden’s Health Agency announced on Thursday that it will not prescribe COVID vaccines for children aged 5 to 11, claiming that the benefits do not outweigh the hazards.

“With the knowledge we have today, with a low risk for serious disease for kids, we don’t see any clear benefit with vaccinating them,” Health Agency official Britta Bjorkholm said at a press conference.

She went on to say that if the science changed or if a new variety changed the pandemic, the judgement might be reconsidered. The vaccination is already available to children in high-risk groups.

Despite limited testing, Sweden recorded almost 40,000 new cases on Jan. 26, one of the highest day counts throughout the pandemic. While daily infection records have been shattered in the fourth wave, healthcare is not under the same strain as in prior waves.

101 COVID patients required critical care On Thursday, far fewer than the more than 400 patients who required treatment in spring 2021. Since the pandemic began, almost 16,000 people in Sweden have died from COVID.

Sweden’s government extended restrictions for two weeks on Wednesday, including limited restaurant operating hours and an attendance quota for indoor venues, but said it intended to lift them on February 9.