Densely populated areas should receive a larger share of the vaccine doses, according to the mayors of Nordre Follo, Sarpsborg, and Fredrikstad, which are affected by mutated virus infection.
The mayors told newspaper VG on Thursday that they want densely populated areas to receive a larger share of Norwegian vaccine doses.
They are considering writing a letter to the health authorities.
“We have a chairmanship meeting on Thursday. It is natural that we will discuss this. The way the vaccines have been distributed now is about the age composition of the municipality and risk groups. Those factors may have little to say when it comes to the infection situation,” Fredrikstad Mayor Jon-Ivar Nygård (AP) told the newspaper.
Nygård and neighboring Mayor Sindre Martinsen-Evje (AP) in Sarpsborg believe that experience from Israel confirms that it is right to insert the vaccine shot where it “burns the most” and has “burned for a long time.”
“This must be a dynamic process. When new knowledge from Israel shows that the vaccine can also stop infection and we get access to more doses, then it is right to skew the vaccination,” Nygård said, who believes that Oslo, central Eastern Norway, and the big cities should be given priority.
Regarding the news from Israel, Geir Bukholm, director of infection control at the National Institute of Public Health (FHI), said that it is important to follow scenarios in models where a high effect of infection spread has been added.
“Norway’s strategy is an even distribution between the municipalities, regardless of infection level,” he emphasized.
Israel casts doubt on its own findings
The FHI has previously said that they lack knowledge about whether the vaccines work against the spread of infection.
Still, Bukholm confirmed to VG that figures on reduced spread of infection could create a stronger argument for skewed distribution.
Minister of Health Bent Høie (H) follows the FHI’s advice and is open to changing priorities based on access to vaccines, new knowledge about the vaccine’s effect, and the infection situation.
Israel has vaccinated 35% of the population of nine million, and on Monday, it was reported that Israel had experienced very little infection among those vaccinated.
On Thursday, however, Israel’s vaccination campaign announced that elements of this study make it impossible to establish that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine prevents the spread of infection or creates herd immunity, although data show that the vaccine protects against serious coronavirus.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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