Norway’s FHI: The winter corona wave will build up population immunity

Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB

The omicron wave provides an opportunity to build immunity in the population, according to the FHI. But it also increases the risk that the disease burden and the pressure on the health care system will become too high.

That is the FHI’s main message, just one day before the government is set to announce changes to its national corona measures. 

In its latest risk report, the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) states that parts of the rationale for contact-reducing measures are no longer valid and that it is hardly sensible to keep strict measures against the pandemic in place over time.

“We are in a favorable situation in that many people have now been vaccinated and that we have a virus in circulation that leads to decreased risk of serious illness,” department director Line Vold at the FHI told NTB.

Winter wave

“With this winter wave now, with probably several hundred thousand infected people, we will increase population immunity. Together with the good vaccine coverage, we will thus be better equipped and able to withstand a much higher infection pressure than before,” Vold added.

According to the FHI’s latest calculations of how the infection will develop in the future, fewer than 50,000 people will become infected with the current level of measures. 

Last week, the infection figures increased by 70%, and according to the FHI’s scenarios, the peak will come at the turn of the next month.

Lower risk of serious illness

At the same time, the FHI has calculated that omicron gives a 69% lower risk of serious illness. 

“Once we have gone through this wave, we will have built immunity in the population that will be positive for the further development of the pandemic,” Vold said.

– Could this wave be the way out of the pandemic?

“The pandemic will probably not be over with this. But we are gradually moving towards a situation where this disease becomes one of the normal diseases in our surroundings.” 

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

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