Norway lends AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

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Sweden and Iceland want to borrow Norwegian doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine which are in storage with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Norway plans to lend doses to Sweden and Iceland as long as use of the vaccine is paused in this country.

"I am pleased that the vaccines we have in storage will be used even though rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway. If use of the AstraZeneca vaccine resumes, the doses we lend out will be returned as soon as we ask for them. Sweden and Iceland will then return doses from their first deliveries of AstraZeneca vaccines", says Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has a total of 216 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in storage. They will expire in June and July.

Sweden will borrow 200 000 doses and Iceland will borrow 16 000.

"The infection situation in Sweden is troubling, and they have provided considerable help to Norway in obtaining vaccines", points out Mr Høie.

If the AstraZeneca vaccine is withdrawn from the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Norway, the doses we have been awarded may be donated to other countries in collaboration with the EU.

The Norwegian Government has appointed an expert committee to review the consequences of using or not using the COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Janssen in the vaccination programme. The committee will make a recommendation to the Norwegian Government on how EMA-approved viral vector vaccines recommended for use in other European countries should be used in Norway. The deadline is 10 May.