Norway opens Covid jabs to 5-11 year-olds

Norway said Friday it would open Covid vaccinations to 5-11 year-olds on a voluntary basis but stopped short of issuing an official recommendation.

Norway opens Covid jabs to 5-11 year-olds
The government has said that parents can choose to vaccinate their children aged between 5-11 if they wish to do so. Pictured is a child in France receiving a vaccine.(Photo by Sebastien Bozon/ AFP)

Parents can choose to have children aged between 5 and 11 vaccinated on a voluntary basis, but the Norwegian government has not issued a official recommendation for parents to vaccinated children in this age group. 

In addition, children aged 12 to 15, who have until now been offered a single dose of the vaccine, may now receive a second dose if their parents wish, the health ministry said.

“Children rarely fall severely ill (from Covid) and knowledge about rare side effects and long-term consequences remains limited for now”, Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol said in a statement.

“The benefit (of vaccination) for most children is limited and the (Norwegian) Institute of Public Health has no official recommendation that all
children between 5 and 11 should be vaccinated… but it can be relevant for certain groups”, she added.

The offer was addressed in particular to children suffering from chronic illnesses, families where the children are in direct contact with people at risk, or children who will be travelling to countries where the pandemic is raging and access to good healthcare may be difficult.

Almost 90 percent of Norway’s adult population has received at least two doses of a Covid vaccine.

Despite a surge in cases due to Omicron — which has not led to a rise in hospitalisations — the Norwegian government on Thursday eased some of its Covid curbs.

It notably lifted a ban on the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants, but ordered them to close at 11pm and only welcome seated customers.

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Norway unlikely to offer fourth Covid vaccine dose to under 45s 

Those under 45 with no underlying conditions probably won’t be offered a fourth Covid vaccine dose this autumn, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said Friday. 

Norway unlikely to offer fourth Covid vaccine dose to under 45s 

Health authorities are unlikely to offer under 45s a fourth Covid jab this autumn, broadcaster TV2 writes. 

“As it looks now, no more doses will be recommended for healthy people under the age of 45, but we are continuously assessing this based on the knowledge we have about the epidemic and the vaccine,” Preben Aavitsland, Chief Physician at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), told TV2. 

Newswire NTB were informed on Wednesday that health chiefs would make an official recommendation for the coming autumn and winter towards the end of summer. 

In a letter sent to municipalities earlier this month, the NIPH wrote that the most likely outcome was that local authorities would be asked to other a refresher dose to over 65s and those in vulnerable groups.

Aavitsland told TV2 that in the long run, it was possible the oldest would be offered an annual vaccine. However, this would depend on how long the pandemic endured and the spread of new variants, the chief physician, added.