The Norwegian Government has decided on a geographical redistribution of vaccines

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The Norwegian Government has decided on a stronger geographical redistribution of vaccines. Twenty-four municipalities that have had a high rate of infection over time will receive about 60% more doses until all people over the age of 18 have been offered vaccination.

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"The main reason why the Norwegian Government has decided to redistribute vaccines is that this increases the chances that we can work together to reopen society a little faster. This will benefit everyone", says Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.

Last week, the Norwegian Government decided on a geographical redistribution, but only under the condition that the municipalities that must relinquish vaccine doses in June and in early July have the capacity to catch up with vaccination at the end of July.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health was tasked with consulting the municipalities about this. The Minister of Health and Care Services had a meeting with the County Governors on 19 May, and the final decision regarding redistribution was made after this meeting. Most of the municipalities reported that they would be able to increase the pace of vaccination during the summer holiday, even though it will be challenging to do so.

"Today, several of the County Governors said to me: 'It will be difficult, but we will manage to do it if we have to." I am both impressed and grateful that the municipalities that will have a much tougher job in July are showing such solidarity towards the municipalities that have suffered the most during the pandemic", states Mr Høie.

The large vaccine deliveries going ahead will increase the pace of vaccination in every municipality.

"Vaccination will not stop anywhere. It will just happen more quickly in the prioritised municipalities", adds Mr Høie.

An amended list
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has given the Norwegian Government its recommendation regarding which municipalities should receive a larger proportion of doses in June, which ones should receive the same number of doses as before, and which ones should receive fewer doses.

The Norwegian Government asked for a review of the list, based on recent developments, and received an amended list of municipalities from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health on 14 May. The Norwegian Government is basing the geographical redistribution on the amended list from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The redistribution is expected to begin in week 23 (7–13 June). The 24 prioritised municipalities will receive about 60% more first doses than originally planned until all inhabitants over the age of 18 have been offered vaccination. Oslo, Sarpsborg, Fredrikstad, and Lørenskog, which have already been prioritised, will receive an increase of about 40 percentage points.

The decision means that, for up to 7 weeks, 309 municipalities will receive about 35% fewer first doses on average than under the population-based distribution formula.

"Going ahead, we must make the vaccination programme as predictable as possible for the municipalities, and we must explore ways of helping the municipalities that have reported the greatest problems in the final phase", says Mr Høie.

The Norwegian Government will therefore:

  • task the Norwegian Institute of Public Health with ensuring that the municipalities have the greatest predictability possible before vaccination this summer

  • task the Norwegian Directorate of Health, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and the County Governors with helping the municipalities that have reported difficulties with handling the vaccination backlog, and make proposals for how to assist them

  • task the County Governor or Oslo and Viken (where all of the 24 prioritised municipalities are located) with talking to the 24 municipalities about potentially helping municipalities that will have difficulty vaccinating their inhabitants in July/August, for example by offering the assistance of their own health personnel

Municipalities that will receive more doses:

Asker

Bærum

Drammen

Eidsvoll

Enebakk

Fredrikstad

Halden

Indre Østfold

Lier

Lillestrøm

Lørenskog

Nannestad

Nesodden

Nittedal

Nordre Follo

Oslo

Rakkestad

Rælingen

Råde

Sarpsborg

Skien

Ullensaker

Vestby

Ås

Municipalities that will be awarded doses in line with population numbers (neutral municipalities):

Aurskog-Høland

Bamble

Bergen

Frogn

Færder

Gjerdrum

Holmestrand

Horten

Hurdal

Kongsberg

Kristiansand

Lunner

Marker

Moss

Nes

Porsgrunn

Ringerike

Sandefjord

Skiptvet

Stavanger

Trondheim

Tønsberg

Øvre Eiker