FHI expert: More infection can have a positive effect and strengthen Norwegians’ immune systems

Sara WatlePhoto: Lise Åserud / NTB
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More coronavirus in society can strengthen Norwegians’ immune systems and have a positive effect, according to a vaccine expert at the National Institute of Public Health (FHI).

Sara Viksmoen Watle at the FHI told VG that Norway could tolerate more infection as long as the vaccines protect against serious illness. 

She drew a parallel to the flu virus.

“Virus circulation can have a positive effect – because then it will ‘boost’ your immune response. As long as you do not get very ill, you will refresh your immune system,” she said.

Watle added that when the entire population over the age of 18 has been vaccinated, there will be infection among children, the unvaccinated, and those for whom the vaccine has not had a protective effect.

New considerations

This summer, the FHI will consider whether children and young people should be vaccinated and whether a third refresher dose is needed.

When it comes to children, Watle says that they generally have a low risk but that some will get seriously ill if many become infected. The vaccines in use so far seem to protect against serious illness, even when they do not protect against infection.

In the delta outbreak in Færder Municipality, for example, seven out of the more than 70 infected people are fully vaccinated. All of them had mild symptoms, municipal chief physician Elin Jacobsen told NTB on Friday.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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1 Comment on "FHI expert: More infection can have a positive effect and strengthen Norwegians’ immune systems"

  1. A new face and talking about herd immunity which has been such a human disaster in Sweden and Great Britain, but with vaccines that may be more defensible now.

    As far as vaccinating children we should remember those who have narcolepsy from being vaccinated with the adjuvant swine flu vaccine back in 2009. Again, COVID is a deeply attacking virus requiring deeply affecting vaccine which must be carefully studied for side effects, and that takes time … if we have the time.

    And there was this 12May21 column in Washington Post: “As pediatricians, we say please don’t use precious coronavirus vaccines on healthy children.” although its emphasis was on the vaccine getting to others more vulnerable around the world, rather than concern about side effects on children. And those pediatricians do postulate achieving herd immunity.

    But again, as for my 74 year old self and heart condition, *any* clotting side effect could – probably would – be fatal, so I’m prepared to wear my facemask for another year at least.

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