News story | Date: 15/06/2021
Fewer vaccine doses from Pfizer-BioNTech will be delivered in July, August, and September than expected. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is recommending an adjustment to the interval between vaccine doses and possible combinations of mRNA vaccines in order to minimise delays to the vaccination programme.
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‘We have been prepared for good and bad vaccine news throughout the pandemic. Unfortunately, we received some bad news before the weekend. We will receive far fewer vaccine doses from Pfizer-BioNTech in July, August, and September than expected.
At the same time, Moderna will be delivering more vaccines in July and August, which will go some way towards compensating for the reduced deliveries from Pfizer-BioNTech’, says Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.
Over 300 000 doses per week were expected from Pfizer-BioNTech in July. During the next 3 months, the forecast has been downgraded to 200 000 doses per week. This adds up to 900 000 fewer doses than expected.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has spent the weekend reviewing the impact this will have on the vaccination programme. It recommends returning to a 12-week interval between the first and second doses of the vaccine.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is also considering combining Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna as the first and second doses. This may change if we receive more vaccine doses than expected. The Norwegian Government agrees with these recommendations. The changes to the intervals between doses will take effect immediately.
The geographical redistribution will end as planned in week 29 (19–25 July).
‘The reduced deliveries will result in a delay of about 1 week for people over the age of 18 who will be vaccinated with their first dose, and about 2 weeks for vaccination with the second dose, compared with the current vaccination plan. I know that changing intervals and deliveries create complications for the municipalities.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health will inform the municipalities how to handle this situation, and once again I would like to thank them for the important work they are doing with vaccination’, states Mr Høie.
The status quo of vaccination
The vaccination programme has met with a tremendous response from the public. We will be reaching a new milestone either today or tomorrow, with 2 million people having their first dose of the vaccine. This means that 45 per cent of people over the age of 18 will have received their first dose of the vaccine.
- Proportion of people over the age of 65 who have received their first dose – 94.60%
- Proportion of people over the age of 55 who have received their first dose – 87.60%
- Proportion of people over the age of 45 who have received their first dose – 77.64%