Norway may give more vaccine doses to hard-hit areas

Norway may give more vaccine doses to hard-hit areas
Norway's public health agency has promised to launch a "totally revised" vaccination strategy within a fortnight, after complaints that remote regions with few cases were getting as many doses as infection hotspots.

“There will eventually be a totally revised vaccine strategy in a couple of weeks,” the National Institute of Public Health’s Infection Control chief Geir Bukholm told Norway’s state broadcaster NRK.

Several municipalities in the Oslo region have called for a new vaccination strategy, which will give areas with higher rates of infection more vaccine doses.

In Oslo, the national coronavirus hotspot, only 3.2 percent of the population have been vaccinated.

Whereas in Norway’s least populated municipality, Utsira, 19.2 percent of the population has been vaccinated, despite the area not having had a single coronavirus case during the pandemic.

The municipalities of Kvitsøy, Modalen and Leka, which have also not had a single case, have vaccinated 8.5, 8.5, and 8.4 percent of the population respectively.

Saliba Andreas Korkunc, a junior health minister, told the Dagsnytt 18 news programme on Friday evening that the institute’s analyses had suggested that concentrating vaccination on the worst-hit areas would result in more deaths.

“They came to the conclusion that if we had done that now, with the relatively few doses that we have, then more people would have died and more people would have gotten serious illness throughout the country,” he said.

So far 221,819 people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus in Norway, with Bukholm saying that it was looking ever more likely that the country could vaccinate the entire population by the summer.

“The optimistic scenario is that we have completedly vaccinated the adult population by July 1st,” he said.


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