The figure comes from preliminary results from the health institute’s National Public Health Survey (Den nasjonale folkehelseundersøkelsen), which asks the public a range of questions, including in 2020 their views on a forthcoming vaccine against the coronavirus.
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“We are seeing that 30 to 40 percent of the population are waiting (before deciding), and we think that’s completely okay. They want more information, and they will get it,” NIPH consultant doctor Preben Aavitsland told news wire NTB.
According to a study carried out by the Research Council of Norway, and previously reported by NRK, 68 percent said they would allow themselves and their closest relatives to take a Covid-19 vaccine once it is available. Similar results have been reported in another survey, carried out by Respons on behalf of VG. In this case, seven out of ten said they would take the vaccine.
“The aim of a vaccination is to protect the vaccinated against serious outcomes of a potential coronavirus infection. That is not dependent on any number [of people taking the vaccine, ed.]. The people who vaccinate themselves reduce their own risk,” Aavitsland told NTB.
The NIPH senior doctor added that he expected demand for the vaccine to be far higher than supply in the initial stages of its availability.
“So it’s not critical if some people say ‘no thanks’,” he said.
Additionally, it is unclear whether Covid-19 vaccines will contribute to immunity and prevent the spread of the virus in society, according to Aavitsland.
“We know that the vaccines which are being approved will protect against serious illness but we don’t know whether they will prevent you from being infectious or able to infect others. It is therefore too early to speculate as to whether the vaccine can make the population immune to infection,” he told NTB.
“Vaccination must first and foremost protect against serious illness. If it additionally protects against infection, that’s good,” he said.