Norway’s government wants to offer a third vaccine dose to everyone over the age of 18

Ingvild KjerkolPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB

The government announced that everyone over 18 would be offered a third vaccine dose, a so-called booster dose.

“Vaccination is the most important protection we have against corona. The infection will be among us for several years to come, and there is a lot we can do together to prevent the virus from spreading, but we also need the protection that the vaccines provide. 

“The government has listened to the FHI’s assessment and plans for the entire adult population to be offered a refresher dose,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (AP) stated in a press release.

The National Institute of Public Health (FHI) has prepared a plan to give a third vaccine dose to everyone between 18 and 64 years.

The municipalities are already offering everyone over the age of 65 the third dose of the vaccine against COVID-19.

Booster doses

The government is now also planning for everyone between the ages of 18 and 64 to be offered a booster dose next year after at least six months have passed since their second vaccine dose.

“Booster doses for adults could contribute to better protection against the disease and to fewer people spreading the disease. But we need more knowledge about this. Therefore, we have asked the FHI to make ongoing assessments of the benefit and risk of offering the booster dose to adults,” Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol (AP) said.

Municipalities are being asked to give priority to giving the first and second vaccine dose to those who have not yet received it, as well as booster doses to those over 65 and people in risk groups. 

Corona certificates

Several municipalities want to use the corona certificate in order to avoid lockdowns and other restrictions, Kjerkol stated.

“We will quickly introduce a regulation that allows municipalities to use corona certificates to relax local corona rules,” she said.

The green corona certificate is issued to vaccinated people, people who are immune because they already had corona, or people who have a negative corona test.

The government will look more closely at the more extensive use of corona certificates at the national level.

“We will consider whether a corona certificate could be relevant as a measure to keep the infection down, for example, at concert venues, sporting events, cinemas, and theaters,” Støre noted.

New testing requirements for the unvaccinated

There are also new requirements for testing. Unvaccinated people over the age of 18 who live with someone who has been infected with corona are now obliged to get tested. This applies from November 16.

The testing obligation applies until seven days have passed since the last time you had close contact with the infected person. You must test yourself every day for seven days with a self-test or every other day with a PCR test.

If you live with someone who is infected, you should stay home until you have received a negative result on the first test.

Unvaccinated healthcare professionals 

The government believes that unvaccinated health personnel should be tested twice a week and given a clear message to use a face mask. 

The Norwegian Directorate of Health will send out guidelines on the issue to the municipalities, Kjerkol said.

She emphasized that general rules can reverse the development of infection. 

“It is important that everyone stays home in case of illness, tests themselves, and goes into isolation in the event of proven coronavirus infection.”

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

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