FHI: The vaccination interval in Norway will be shortened from mid-August

Geir BukholmPhoto: Jil Yngland / NTB
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Norway will receive more doses of the corona vaccine than initially expected, and the interval between the first and second dose will be shortened to ten weeks or even less in the coming weeks.

The interval between doses is currently set at up to twelve weeks, but since the vaccination with dose two starts in full already in mid-August, people can expect to be fully vaccinated earlier than planned, assistant director Geir Bukholm at the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) said on Saturday.

Vaccination with dose two will start in full in week 32-33, rather than week 34 as previously planned. Thus, many people will have an interval of ten weeks rather than twelve between the two doses.

“As we approach the end of September, the interval will be further shortened as the vaccines arrive in Norway,” Bukholm told NTB.

He said that the goal is for more people to be fully vaccinated as early as possible, and therefore the time between the two doses will also be shortened.

“Our goal is to optimize the progress of the vaccination, and then we also want to reduce the interval between the doses. This is also the basis for the basic calculations in the revised vaccination calendar,” Bukholm said.

Protection against delta

The FHI updated its vaccination calendar on Friday. It is planned that Norway can have its population fully vaccinated three weeks earlier than expected, i.e., in weeks 38-39.

On Friday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) also announced that Europe would probably receive another 40 million doses of Moderna’s corona vaccine by October. According to Bukholm, the same estimates for deliveries to Norway still apply.

“We received approximately 100,000 more Pfizer doses and approximately 20,000 more Moderna doses in July. We will receive approximately 290,000 more Pfizer doses and 200,000 more Moderna doses in August. In addition, we will receive approximately 70,000 more Moderna doses in September,” Bukholm noted.

The adult part of the population will thus be well protected against infection even earlier than what the FHI has assumed in its previous scenarios.

That is especially important now when the delta variant that spreads faster in the population is dominant in Norway, Bukholm emphasized.

“Both the first and the second vaccine doses protect well against serious illness caused by this variant, but full vaccination with two doses of mRNA vaccine is very important because it also provides very good protection against the spread of the delta variant in society,” he said.

Important for the reopening

Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) is happy that the Norwegian population will likely be fully vaccinated three weeks earlier than estimated.

“Norway is working on gaining access to more vaccine doses. This will enable the population to be fully vaccinated even faster. This is good news, and it is important for the further reopening of Norway,” Solberg said in a comment to NTB on Friday.

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

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