December 3, 2021

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- What is happening now in Norway is a duplicate of what we have seen here

– What is happening now in Norway is a duplicate of what we have seen here

Since about mid-July, the infection has erupted in Israel, a country that came out early to vaccinate the population. In September, they had more than 11,000 new cases in one day at most.

But then something happened. Infections are gradually declining, and last week there were an average of 487 new cases per day.

Life is now almost back to normal, except that you have to wear a face mask indoors and have a corona passport that shows you’ve been vaccinated or tested when you go to restaurants, for example, says professor and infection specialist Eyal Leshem at Sheba Medical Center , the largest hospital in Israel, for TV 2.

Expert: Professor and infection specialist Eyal Leshem at Sheba Medical Center, the largest hospital in Israel. Photo: Sheba Medical Center

Refers to three notes

Leshem doesn’t suspect why infections would suddenly start dropping in the middle of a period without any major restrictions or shutdowns: Vaccination with the third dose – the so-called booster or booster dose – for those who received the second dose of the vaccine more than six months ago.

The professor points to three observations he thinks could explain evolution:

  • We are seeing a steady decrease in the number of new infections and it is dropping to about 200 new cases every day.
  • The decline occurs against the background that the society is operating at full capacity. Schools are open, commerce is open, people meet and travel. However, we do not see an increase.
  • More than 65 percent of the population was vaccinated with two doses, and more than four million of them, roughly 50 percent, received the booster dose.

It sums up: “All together, this reflects a very high level of immunity in the population, so even when a person is sick, most people are protected from infection due to vaccination or coronary artery infection.”

The duplication of what we saw

The professor believes that there is reason to say that mass vaccination with the third dose had a significant impact in Israel.

We have good notes showing that the boost potion was the reason for stopping the fourth wave here. Because in August we had over 60 percent of those who had two doses and yet the disease was getting worse. But when the booster drug was introduced, protection against infection increased and we saw a decrease in new infections.

This makes Leshem clear that he believes that a third, refreshing dose of the vaccine works well.

– There is no other possible reason for this other than the booster, because we did not have closures or strict restrictions at this time. So why should cases be reduced when the only thing we’ve done is give people a booster dose? Then it must be augmented.

When asked if he thought other countries should start giving the third dose to the entire adult population, he replied that the most important thing was to ensure that as many people aged five and over as possible were getting two doses.

It is the first priority, along with giving the third dose to those at high risk of serious disease and those who took the last dose more than six months ago. Thereafter, the enhanced program can be extended to the entire population. You can’t give it to everyone at the same time, you have to prioritize.

Leshem thinks Norway is now seeing a record high level of infections, and hospitals seeing an increasing number of admissions, both between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated, sounds familiar.

– What is happening now in Norway is a repetition of what we saw in Israel in August. When we started giving the booster drug in August, most people had been vaccinated, but among those vaccinated in January, protection decreased. Once we gave 2 million booster doses, those cases were gone.

Continuous evaluation of the vaccine strategy

The director of the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH), Camilla Stoltenberg, told TV 2 that a refreshing dose is very important for those over 65, especially the oldest in this group.

We think it will be very important to reduce the number of admissions, because we see that the vaccines no longer work well in that group. This group is also over-represented among those hospitalized.

Evaluation: Director of the National Institute of Public Health, Camilla Stoltenberg.  Photo: Goran Jorganovich / TV 2

Evaluation: Director of the National Institute of Public Health, Camilla Stoltenberg. Photo: Goran Jorganovich / TV 2

– What will happen to those under 65 in the future Now, will a third dose be given to them as well?

We have a constant task of evaluating the vaccine strategy all the time, so one of the things we’ve done is plan so that this kit can also be relevant to a booster dose. So we’ve really started working on that, and then comes an assessment of who, when, and so on. For many, it takes a long time for it to be relevant, because it was supposed to be six months from the second dose to the third dose.

Stoltenberg does not rule out that a booster dose for under-65s would also help with the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

If it becomes relevant to the third dose of this group, does it apply to everyone, or are some groups most relevant to it?

– It’s too early to answer now. But we look at all of this.

200,000 received the third dose in Norway

Stoltenberg is clear about what it takes to reduce future infections.

Vaccination will be very important, and it will be important along with other infection control measures. The most important thing is to stay home if you are sick, so you don’t infect anyone else, and get tested.

So far, about 200,000 elderly people and health workers in Norway have received the third dose of the vaccine National Institute of Public Health.

The dose has been offered so far to people 65 and older, as well as health workers who come into contact with the patient. Records also show that, on average, more than 700 adults took the first dose of the vaccine per day in November.

On Thursday, it was also announced that the FHI is considering changing the time interval between the second and third vaccine doses. At a meeting with several Norwegian municipalities on Thursday, FHI announced that it was considering reducing the time period to five months, writes home friend.

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