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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday 

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Thursday with The Local’s short roundup of important news. 

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday 
A man out on his boat fishing in Norway. Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Norway to offer 16-and-17-year-olds Covid-19 vaccine 

The Norwegian government announced Wednesday evening that it would begin offering 16-and-17-year-olds in the country Covid-19 vaccinations once everyone over 18 had received their second dose. 

This is expected to happen around September 12th, and children will be offered the choice of whether they want to be vaccinated or not. 

The decision to offer those in this age group coronavirus vaccines was made following a recommendation from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH). 

In most cases, those in this age group will be given doses of Pfizer, and Norway’s health minister, Bent Høie, said that the government would now decide whether to begin vaccinating children aged between 12 and 15. 

COMPARED: How Covid vaccination rules for children differ around Europe

“Now we have some time left which we will also use to have the latest available knowledge from the NIPH before we make a decision about the 12-15-year-olds. I think this way of doing it contributes to people having confidence in the advice we give,” Høie told newspaper VG.

Norway’s oil fund rakes in 990 billion kroner in the first half of 2021

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the biggest of its kind in the world, said on Wednesday that it had earned more than 990 billion kroner, or 100 billion dollars, in the first half of 2021 due to a booming stock market – and an accidental purchase which ended up growing in value. 

The fund was launched in the 1990s to protect the country against volatile crude oil prices and fund Norway’s welfare state. Today, every fifth kroner of government funding is drawn from the fund. 

The fund posted a 9.4 percent return or the equivalent of 990 billion kroner in the first six months of this year. 

The energy, finance, health and technology sectors drove the gains. 

If you want to learn more about how the oil fund has transformed Norway, check out our article here.

Bergen to begin offering drop-in vaccines to all residents next week 

Today Bergen will begin offering drop-in coronavirus vaccines to employees from schools and kindergartens and from next week will start offering walk-in shots to all residents. 

Next week it is expected that the city on the west coast of Norway will receive more than 57,000 vaccine doses, meaning that it can accelerate its vaccination plan. 

Drop-in appointments for all residents will open up on Thursday, August 26th. 

612 new Covid-19 infections 

On Wednesday, 612 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in Norway, 75 more than the seven-day average. 

In Oslo, 144 new Covid-19 infections have been registered. This is a rise of 35 compared to the seven day average for the Norwegian capital. 

Total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: NIPH

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For members


Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local’s short roundup of important news. 

Pictured is Holmenkollen in Oslo.
Read about the interval between doses two and three being shortened and the death of Kåre Willoch in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is Holmenkollen in Oslo. Photo by Michael Ankes on Unsplash

Tributes paid to Kåre Willoch 

The former prime minister and Conservative Party leader Kåre Willoch passed away yesterday aged 93. King Harold, prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre and former PM Erna Solberg were among those to pay tribute to Willoch. 

“He was a very gracious and nice person who was concerned with people and political issues,” Solberg said. 

The former PM pointed to Willoch’s modernisation reform in Norway as his most significant political legacy. 

“The most important thing he did was the modernisation of Norway,” she said. 

Health minister to decide on new Covid-19 measures

New coronavirus measures are on their way in Norway, with the health minister, Ingvild Kjerkol, set to decide on new restrictions following a rise in infections, outbreaks of the Omicron variant and parts of the health service nearing capacity. 

“There will be measures we will notice in our everyday lives,” Kjerkol said to public broadcaster NRK

“The situation is demanding, and that is the reason why we are now looking at new measures. We have a health service that is in full swing, and our goal is to have control of the pandemic, in the form that the municipalities and hospitals are able to provide proper health care,” Kjerkol explained.

READ ALSO: How could Norway’s Covid-19 restrictions be tightened this week?

The minister didn’t reveal any details on what could be announced but said that decisions would be made on Tuesday. 

Coronavirus booster vaccine interval shortened 

The interval between vaccine doses two and three for those aged between 64 and 45 will be shortened by a month, Norway’s health ministry has announced

The interval will now be five months when it was previously six. All adults with serious underlying conditions and those working in the health and care sectors will also have the interval cut. 

One in three think Covid-19 measures are too relaxed

A third of Norwegians feel that the current Covid measures in place in Norway are insufficient and need tightening, according to a survey conducted by Norstat for public broadcaster NRK.

Ten percent said the measures were too comprehensive, and just under 50 percent said that the current level of action was appropriate. 

4,117 new Covid-19 cases in Norway

On Monday, 4,117 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Norway. That is 1,240 more cases than the same day last week. 

As of yesterday, 295 people were hospitalised with Covid-19. 

A graph showing the number of weekly cases in Norway.
The total number of weekly cases in Norway throughout the pandemic. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health.