Oslo to increase interval between Covid-19 vaccine doses

From next week, people who receive their coronavirus vaccine in the Norwegian capital will wait 12 weeks until their second dose.

Oslo to increase interval between Covid-19 vaccine doses
A phial of the Pfizer vaccine, the most commonly used vaccine in Norway. (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP)

“From next week, we will have almost finished vaccinating people with underlying conditions, and we will extend the interval between vaccines from six to twelve weeks. This is in line with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s (NIPH) guidelines,” health councillor for Oslo, Robert Steen, told newspaper Dagbladet.  

The new rule will not have a retroactive effect. This means that those who have already have their first dose will receive the second jab roughly six weeks after the first.

“Moving the appointment of the second dose, after the first has already been administered, would require manual rebooking. This would be very resource-intensive. This could lead to a lot of delays for people still waiting for their first dose,” Steen said.

The city council is hoping the increase in the interval between jabs will allow them to vaccinate the city’s population much faster.

“I am glad that the NIPH changed the guidelines, and that we can give the first shot to many more people now in the coming weeks. It is no secret that I wish the new guidelines had come earlier. We would probably have been able to have administered more doses by now,” the health councillor said.

Oslo city council has also said that it wouldn’t enter the next phase of step two of its five-step plan for reopening and lifting coronavirus measures until at least the 27th of May.

READ MORE: Oslo relaxes Covid restrictions with shops and malls to reopen

The next part of its phased approach to the second step of its reopening plan would see bar’s and restaurants reopen, with alcohol allowed to be served with food, as well as gyms and museums.

“I understand that the hospitality industry and owners and users of gyms are getting impatient. The first part of step two of the reopening plan seems to have gone well, but we must still be careful. If infections stay low, then it should be possible to open restaurants, gyms, museums and more before may is over,” the city’s mayor, Raymond Johansen, said.

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Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

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