Norway considers lifting measures for people who have had their first Covid vaccine
Social distancing at home and other measures in Norway may be lifted for people who have received their first Coronavirus vaccine, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said on Friday.
The NIPH is assessing whether people who have received their first dose of the vaccine will no longer have to practice social distancing at home three weeks after getting the jab.
"It's worth looking at easing measures for those who have received the first dose," Infection Control Director at the NIPH, Geir Bukholm, told national newspaper VG.
Bukholm also said that the NIPH would look at lifting certain measures for those who have been vaccinated.
"We may be able to facilitate lifting some measures such as quarantine, access to public events, or how large groups can gather," Bukholm said.
The health chief, however, could not offer anymore specific details on what exact measures could be lifted and when.
The health authority will present its recommendation to the government in May.
Furthermore, the interval between vaccine doses is being increased from six to twelve weeks, the government announced in a statement.
The change will apply to everyone under the age of 65.
The NIPH estimates that those aged between 18-44 will now have access to a vaccine five weeks earlier than previously planned. They plan to have offered everyone in this age group a vaccine by July.
"We received the recommendation from the National Institute of Public Health today and have decided to follow it. When we increase the interval, far more people get vaccinated earlier. This will contribute both to preventing serious illness and death and reducing the level of infection in society," health minister Bent Høie said.
The government said that the increase in intervals between shots will not affect the vaccine's effectiveness.
So far in Norway, 1.6 million people have received their first dose, and 310,000 are fully vaccinated.