Norway says Covid-19 booster jab ‘not needed’ after two doses plus infection

An illustration photo showing a Covid-19 vaccine being drawn. Norwegian health authorities say a booster jab is not currently needed in cases where Covid-19 infection occurred following the original second dose.
An illustration photo showing a Covid-19 vaccine being drawn. Norwegian health authorities say a booster jab is not currently needed in cases where Covid-19 infection occurred following the original second dose.Photo: Oli SCARFF / AFP
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) does not currently recommend a booster jab against Covid-19 for people who have been infected with the coronavirus since receiving the second dose of their original vaccination.

The health authority’s senior medical consultant Professor Preben Aavitsland told national broadcaster NRK via an email that it was “not necessary” for people who had been double-vaccinated but subsequently infected with Covid-19 to receive a booster at the current time.

That advice applies regardless of the variant responsible for the infection, according to the NRK report.

“The purpose of the third dose is to refresh immunity against the coronavirus. If you get infected before the third dose, the virus itself acts as a refresher for immunity. In such cases, this (third dose) is not needed. That applies regardless of variants,” Aavitsland said.

The NIPH official was not alone in stating a booster is not currently needed for those in the position of having been infected with Covid-19 after the first two doses.

“If you are healthy and under 65, then: no. You don’t need it,” senior researcher Gunnveig Grødeland of the University of Oslo said to NRK.

A single vaccine dose followed by infection would be “equivalent to two (vaccine) doses. It would all depend on the time (of infection),” she added.

NIPH recommends a second vaccine dose regardless of whether an infection has taken place between the first and second doses.

In cases where someone has been infected after the first dose, dose two is given three months after the infection.

Both three doses and two doses followed by an infection create an immune response that gives “very good protection against serious illness (with Covid-19),” she added.

Norway recommends a booster Covid-19 vaccine for people over the age of 45 at 20 weeks or four and a half months after the second dose of the original course. The country aims to invite all eligible people for a booster vaccine by mid January.

Latest NIPH data show that 1.2 million people in Norway have already received a booster.

READ ALSO: How does Norway’s Covid-19 booster campaign compare to other countries?


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