Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Less than two percent of us are fully vaccinated – VG


LOW NUMBERS, BUT: FHI believes that everyone over the age of 18 may have received the first dose by the summer – if everything goes according to plan. Photo: Gisle Oddstad

100,000 of Norway’s inhabitants have received both the vaccine doses needed to get full protection against the coronavirus.

Published:

We are miles behind the world senator in full vaccination. Israel is clearly leading and on Tuesday morning gave close to 35 percent of its inhabitants the necessary doses.

Here in Norway, 1.84 percent have received the number of vaccine doses they will have through the Norwegian vaccination program, according to VG’s figures.

At the time of writing: 98,883 people – out of around 5.4 million inhabitants.

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In addition, 290,000 of Norway’s inhabitants have received the first dose.

Disappointing news? Do not lose heart completely yet. For it goes forward: The National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) believes that everyone over the age of 18 may have received the first dose in July.

But that is if everything goes according to plan.

It must be said that Israel’s vaccine rate is second to none worldwide. The country has also begun vaccinating half of the population.

  • Press «fully vaccinated» to get the correct order in the graphic (the figures in this case were entered on the morning of 23 February):

Goes a little trampled all over the world

More than 39 million people are fully vaccinated worldwide. This means that 0.50 per cent of the world’s population has received the number of vaccine doses they should have.

NB: The overview of the vaccination is based on figures from official sources and news releases. Not all countries that have started vaccination have published data yet.

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In many countries around the world, the full vaccination is somewhat slow. The bronze place belongs to the USA (5.6 percent).

With our 1.84 percent, we are in 27th place worldwide. So how is it otherwise in the Nordic countries based on VG’s figures?

Two countries stand out: Denmark (sixth place) and Iceland (eighth place), both with their three percent fully vaccinated. Sweden (1.9 per cent / 26th place) and Finland (1.4 per cent / 32nd place) come a good distance further.

The latter has changed its tactics. The Finns have chosen to delay the full vaccination.

How many have been vaccinated in my municipality? Check VG’s vaccine overview

One dose for many

Finland’s new strategy is now about getting given many persons a first vaccine dose and thus something protection against the coronavirus – rather than providing a minority the two doses needed to get full protection.

In early February, THL, the Finnish Institute of Public Health, recommended extending the interval between doses to 12 weeks on all three vaccines the country uses.

This is despite the fact that this violates the recommendations of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is responsible for the evaluation and supervision of medicines.

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The same vaccines are approved for use in Norway, and all three require two doses to receive full protection against covid-19 – with the following EMA-recommended intervals:

  • Modern requires two doses at 28-day intervals.
  • Pfizer requires two doses at 21 day intervals.
  • AstraZeneca requires two doses four to 12 weeks apart.

“Relatively good protection”

Finnish THL believes that this will quickly increase vaccine coverage in the population and that the first dose in itself will provide “relatively good” protection, they write on their website.

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– Based on everything we know, we can assume that the effect of the first dose lasts much, much longer than three weeks, says chief physician Hanna Nohynek at THL to TV 2.

– We do this because there is a shortage of vaccines, at the same time as we see an increasing threat from the mutated variants. We want to protect the population as much as possible.

So far, Finland is in 16th place in the vaccination of the population, two places behind Norway. We are best located in the Nordic region.

May lead to vaccine resistance

The UK was the first to change its vaccine strategy in this way. Due to the acute infection situation, a choice was made in mid-January to vaccinate many people with one dose in the first instance, instead of vaccinating a few with two doses.

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This has brought the country up to third place in the beginning of vaccination of the population. When it comes to full vaccination, they are in 37th place.

The strategy is “a game of chance”, says immunologist Fridtjof Lund-Johansen at the Department of Immunology, Oslo University Hospital pronounced to VG.

– In the worst case, it is conceivable that if you only give one dose, you can breed vaccine-resistant viruses. If that happens, it’s really bad.

No change of strategy in Norway

Norway has so far followed the EMA’s recommendations – and will continue to do so.

Department director Line Vold in FHI writes in an e-mail to VG that in this country they will follow the plan to fully vaccinate as many of those with the highest risk of serious illness and death as soon as possible.

– The trials of the vaccines were with two doses, and the Norwegian Medicines Agency has approved them with two doses. We will stick to it, she says.

– The main reason why they in the UK vaccinate as many people as possible with one dose without ensuring that they have a second dose, is probably that they have had very high infection rates and great pressure on the health care system. They therefore aim to provide some protection to many as quickly as possible, and bet that they will get enough for a dose of two eventually.

Furthermore, Vold writes that it has also been shown that for several of the vaccines there is greater flexibility associated with giving dose two than was initially thought. Therefore, some countries plan to postpone dose two for several weeks.



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