Solberg decides to send 60% more vaccines to municipalities with persistently high corona infection

Erna SolbergPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB

A total of 24 eastern municipalities with persistently high infection pressure will receive 60% more vaccines. 

The Norwegian government has decided this after receiving advice from the National Institute of Public Health (FHI). 

The FHI recommended that the hard-hit municipalities receive 80% more doses than they would otherwise receive until everyone over 18 has been vaccinated with the first dose.

The FHI estimated that both 60% and 80% more doses to the 24 eastern municipalities would give about the same gain. Therefore, the government favored the first-mentioned percentage distribution. 

The redistribution, which can take place at the earliest from week 23, will reduce the pressure on the other municipalities in July.

List subject to change

The FHI proposal means that 319 municipalities, for up to seven weeks, will receive about 35% fewer doses than the population key indicates. There will be no changes for 13 municipalities.

The government has asked the FHI and the Norwegian Directorate of Health to make a quick assessment of whether the municipal list should be updated on the basis of infection development since the list was made.

In the press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Erna Solberg was clear that the decision has important preconditions:

“We must ensure that the municipalities that receive fewer doses in June and the beginning of July have the capacity to take this again in the latter part of July. Together with the state administrators, we will enter into a dialogue with the municipalities to investigate whether the vaccination in the holiday month of July can go according to plan. If we are to change the distribution, we must first be sure that this does not lead to a delay in when the entire population has been vaccinated,” the Prime Minister said.

Moves away from modestly skewed distribution

Due to high infection pressure in some districts and a high level of measures in the municipality, Oslo will have the opportunity to start vaccinating those under 45 in priority districts when everyone over 45 has been offered a vaccine in the same districts.

In March, the government advocated a modest geographical unequal distribution of vaccines to areas with high infection pressure. This has meant that six districts in Oslo, as well as Lørenskog, Sarpsborg, Fredrikstad, and Moss, have received 20% more vaccine doses than the original plan.

In a report presented in April, the experts in the Holden committee concluded that far more vaccines for high-infection areas would result in fewer patients and deaths.

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

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