Alumnus in focus: Erik Fredholm, vaccine coordinator in Region Örebro

2021-03-12

Erik Fredholm, pharmacist in Region Örebro, has seen his working days change along the spread of the coronavirus. Three months have passed since he last took a break. At the moment he estimates that it will take another three months before his next visit to the coffee room.

Erik Fredholm, pharmacist in Region Örebro
Erik Fredholm, Region Örebro

“There are so many things that has to function to make the vaccinations proceed efficient. In Region Örebro, we are a steering group of four people who interact with, among others, SKR, Regions and municipalities. In addition, we have the ambition to work transparently with both the media and the general public, so right now my calendar consists of meetings, meetings and more meetings.”

In the summer of 2006, Erik Fredholm graduated as a Pharmacist at Uppsala University. Seven years as a communication officer at LIF was followed by two years as pharmacy manager in Karlskoga and Örebro. In 2015, he was recruited as a pharmacist at Region Örebro’s Pharmaceutical Center. A role that included equal parts clinical practice and national coordination - until the coronavirus reached our latitudes.

“Today there is absolutely no time for clinical practice, our working weeks continuously exceed forty hours, often continuing at home through evenings and weekends. At night it happens that I send messages to my job email to have them available when I come to work the next day. It's been three months since I last took a break, so of course it can be a lot. At the same time, it is necessary to keep pace if we are to get out of the situation we are in,” states Erik Fredholm.

Lack of vaccine deliveries is currently one of the most urgent challenges. To date, approximately only one third of the promised doses have reached Region Örebro, which is barely sufficient to vaccinate the highest priority risk groups at five geographical nodes in the county. The opportunities to plan ahead are limited, and communication with coordinators in the Mälardalen regions is an important forum.

“Exchange of experiences means that we do not have to invent the wheel too many times. The fact that we also have had time to form efficient organisations makes us well prepared when deliveries will reach the intended level. Unfortunately, we do not know what day will be, making it impossible for us to communicate exact dates. We are of course aware that it arouses frustration, but at the same time we also get very positive feedback on the work we perform.”

The ambition is to, as soon as the infrastructure allows, open systems for new groups to make an appointment and to establish flexible vaccination stations. At the same time, it is important to maximize the outcome of the resources available and to ensure that no vaccine sludge is wasted.

“Those who see our work up close are also the ones who give us the most praise. Personally, I am confident that we have the employees and the skills required to succeed with our task. Now we see more and more people developing antibodies and in combination with an accelerating vaccination rate, my hope is that we can start a return to everyday life sometime in late June,” says Erik Fredholm.

Facts: Erik Fredholm

  • Education Pharmacy degree at Uppsala University 2006
  • Profession Pharmacist, Örebro Region
  • Currently  Vaccine Coordinator in the Örebro Region

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text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Oscar Schriver-Abeln

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Last modified: 2021-06-22