According to Minister of Culture Abid Raja (V), it should be considered whether groups in the immigrant population should be given priority in the vaccine queue.
“It may be that the health authorities should consider whether groups in the immigrant population should be given priority in the vaccine queue when they have a 24 times higher admission rate and thus also a higher death rate,” Raja told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
According to the National Institute of Public Health (FHI), people born in Pakistan and living in Norway have, so far in the pandemic, had 24 times higher hospitalization rates than people born in Norway. Therefore, Raja now wants a debate on the vaccination queue.
“Everyone can be infected with the coronavirus, but how seriously ill you become is about biology. It’s about age, underlying diseases, and genetics,” Sheraz Yaqub, chief physician at Rikshospitalet and associate professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine at UiO.
According to NRK, new studies, including those at Rikshospitalet, have found an over-frequency of a special gene in the South Asian population, leading to a more serious disease if they become infected with the coronavirus.
The health authorities will present a revision of the vaccine strategy on Monday.
“The research that has now arrived is relatively new, and we take it into account in the assessment of a new vaccine strategy,” infection control director Geir Bukholm at the FHI noted.
He adds that although gene theory holds some weight, it is hardly the entire explanation for the overrepresentation.
“There may also be other medical explanations for why Pakistanis, for example, are hit harder, such as diabetes,” he said.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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