The health authority told newspaper VG it is assessing the viability of giving only a single vaccine dose to people who have already had the virus, including for RNA-based vaccines such as the one produced by Pfizer/BioNTech, which normally consists of two doses given three weeks apart.
“We are now looking at whether people who have previously been through Covid-19would have good enough protection after a single vaccine dose,” NIPH vaccine efficacy expert Sara Sofie Viksmoen Watle told VG.
Norway has so far given 308,145 people a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while 125,150 have received both doses, according to the latest NIPH figures published February 24th.
By inoculating using a single dose, the number of people who can receive a vaccine within a given timescale would increase.
NIPH is looking into whether an infection with Covid-19 can be equivalent to a first vaccine dose, VG writes.
“The vaccine dose they get after they’ve had the disease would then give a so-called booster response similar to what you normally get after the second dose,” Watle said.
The practice would primarily come into play for people outside of risk groups for serious illness with the virus but NIPH is also investigating whether it could be applicable for people in older age groups.
“Whether this is relevant for older people and people with serious, underlying diseases, we have to investigate further,” the medical expert said.
Earlier this month, French health advisory board Haut Autorité de Santé said that people who had previously been infected with Covid-19 develop an immune response similar to that bestowed by a vaccine dose, and that a single dose after infection would likely suffice.
The French government has so far not incorporated the health council advice into its official vaccine policy.