Booster dose to be offered to all adults

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The Norwegian Government is making provisions to offer all people over the age of 18 a booster dose.

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The municipalities have already begun giving people over 65 a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Norwegian Government is planning to offer all people between the ages of 18 and 64 a booster dose next year, when at least 6 months have passed since they received their second vaccine dose.

‘Vaccination is our most important protective measure against COVID-19. The virus will remain with us for several years to come and while there is much we can do collectively to prevent it from spreading, we also need the protection which the vaccines provide. The Norwegian Government is following the advice of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and is making provisions for the entire adult population to be offered a booster dose’, says Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

Infection is on the rise several places in Norway, putting great pressure on the health services. A higher infection rate in society means a higher risk of more people falling seriously ill. The vaccines do not offer full protection against COVID-19 and are slightly less effective among elderly people.

‘A booster dose for adults will improve protection against the virus and lower the transmission rate, but we need more knowledge regarding this. We have therefore asked the Norwegian Institute of Public Health to continuously evaluate the risks and benefits associated with giving a booster dose to adults’, says Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s continuous assessments will cover the infection rate, the disease burden, and new knowledge. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health will provide guidance on when a booster dose can be offered to people between the ages of 18 and 64 and whether the recommendations will need to be adjusted.

A decision has already been made to offer people with a weakened immune system a third dose of the vaccine, as well as offering health personnel and people over 65 a booster dose.

Many people between the ages of 18 and 64 received their second dose less than 6 months ago. Before the municipalities can offer a booster dose to this group, they must give priority to administering the first and second vaccine doses; the third dose for people with a weakened immune system; a booster dose for people who are aged 65 and older and health personnel; as well as vaccination against the flu.