A record high of nearly 900,000 Norwegians were vaccinated against the flu last year and the number will increase even more this year.
The Institute of Public Health is pleased to see a significant increase over the last four years. This applies to people who belong to a risk group, health professionals and also to the general population.
“200,000 more vaccines have been ordered this year compared to last year and we have never had such large orders ever,” said Karoline Bragstad, acting head of the influenza department at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health to NTB.
The health authorities recommend the vaccine to people who are at risk – the elderly, people with a health condition and pregnant women as well as health professionals and others who are with people with reduced immune systems. A total of 1.6 million Norwegians are in these groups. This means that almost one in three in this country is recommended to take the vaccine.
“It can be difficult to say now who in the coming season will be most susceptible to infection before we know more about the viruses to come, but generally speaking, H3N2 viruses have been shown to especially infect the elderly over 65 and influenza B-Victoria affects children especially. It is these two viruses that we have occasional cases right now. The next few weeks will give us a clearer picture, “ said Bragstad.
In recent years, the health authorities have worked more purposefully to reach health professionals with the message of getting vaccinated. It is estimated that around 900 people die each year as a result of influenza.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today