More than a quarter of municipalities haven’t submitted orders to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health for influenza vaccines. The deadline for booking was the 1st of August. The figures worry the Health Directorate.
‘We believe it’s due to introducing a new electronic ordering system, so that information about the system hasn’t yet reached those concerned in the municipalities,’ said Senior Adviser, Svein Høegh Henrichsen, of the Health Directorate.
The Directorate have asked County Governors to convey to the municipalities that it’s urgent to order vaccines if they expect to receive them in the autumn.
Risk groups a priority
‘Since the flu season arrives in a month, it’s important that municipalities order the vaccines and start vaccinating,’ said Høegh Henrichsen.
People in the high risk groups should first and foremost be vaccinated. That is people over the age of 65, those with chronic disorders such as cardiovascular disease, also pregnant women, and healthcare professionals.
‘We have committed ourselves to the World Health Organisation aim of vaccinating 70% of people in the risk groups, but haven’t managed more than 40%, as vaccination is voluntary in Norway’, said Henrichsen.
Greater number of deaths
Municipal councillor, Tor Arne Martinsen of Nøtterøy municipality, said that the municipality has secured the flu vaccine.
‘There are quite a few deaths every year because people don’t vaccinate. Those in the risk groups are most exposed’, he said.
According to Martinsen, formerly, the municipalities ordered vaccines from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health via a form sent by fax.
‘We booked before the summer holiday. Too few people are vaccinating, so we are working to make people vaccinate’, said Martinsen.
Source: NRK / Norway Today