Find out what more people think about the new dose and possible wave of infection:
To many, the Corona pandemic seems like a chapter in the past. In many countries, including Norway, daily life has been normal for several months. However, this does not mean that the coronavirus is gone. Since the beginning of the summer, hospital admissions have increased with coronavirus as the main cause, and FHI explained that this is due to the new BA.5 variant. The European Union has also recommended that a new refresher dose be introduced to people over 60 years of age as soon as possibleBecause a new wave of infection is on the way.
– We have no time to waste, says EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides.
“sThe summer wave of the epidemic is driven by the BA.5 variable. This variant spreads more easily, at the same time that the population has reduced immunity because for many it has been a long time since vaccination or they have been exposed to infection.. “,” It is something that can be read FHI’s latest weekly report.
Those hardest hit in this wave are, as during the entire pandemic, the elderly and people with underlying diseases. In Sweden, the Swedish Public Health Agency decided in April that a fourth dose of the vaccine could be given to people 65 years of age or older.Because protection from the vaccine has been declining after about four months since this age group received the third dose.
However, Norwegian health authorities assessed things differently. Recently, on July 1, the government came up with a recommendation that people 75 years old can take the fourth dose, but for those 65 years old, there probably won’t be a recommendation right away.
We are constantly evaluating when it is appropriate to provide the fourth dose to those over 75 years of age. It takes several weeks from a potential decision for people to be vaccinated. We do not currently see a clear increase in the risk of serious disease in those under the age of 75. In addition, we see signs that the summer wave is approaching the top now. So we’re waiting for the moment, FHI chief physician Preben Aavitsland writes in an email to Nettavisen.
Facts about hospitalization with COVID-19 being the main cause – weeks 24, 25 and 26
There has been an increase in the number of new patients admitted to hospitals with covid-19 as the main cause in the past 5-6 weeks. To date, 335 new patients have been reported at week 26 after 304 at week 25, and 214 at week 24. The mean age of hospital admission has increased in recent weeks, and was 76 in the past 4 weeks. Last week’s numbers are expected to be revised upwards.
– a stranger
The first doses of refreshments were introduced in late fall 2021 for seniors. This means that there were several hundred thousand Norwegians in the high-risk groups who received a booster dose (the third dose, editor’s note) eight to nine months ago.
We think it’s strange that 65 and over was not considered a risk group, when the authorities came up with the recommendation for a fourth dose on July 1. We weren’t told that they shouldn’t suddenly be defined as a risk group. We asked Family Health International why they thought differently here, compared to Sweden, which came out early, but then only got the answer ‘we’re waiting’. It’s not just Sweden that came out early with a new dose of refresher, so we asked ourselves “what did they understand there that we didn’t understand here?”
The FHI previously reported that there will likely be a new refresher dose recommendation for people 65 and older, effective Sept..
Why did Sweden think differently? How did the FHI and the Public Health Authority make a different assessment here?
– As we understood, the Swedes vaccinate the elderly at regular intervals regardless of the course of the epidemic. Norway and other European countries have chosen to allow the evolution of the epidemic to determine vaccination recommendations, Avezland answers.
– What would indicate that you changed the recommendation here, Aavitsland?
If we see a significant increase in risk for those under 75, we will look at the case carefully. As before during the pandemic, vaccination recommendations should be defined in each country to take into account the situation there. We note that the ECDC (European Agency for the Prevention of Infection) is asking countries to consider a fourth dose for those over 60 years of age, and we will examine the basis for this advice. Right now, we and the municipalities are focused on giving the fourth dose to everyone in the nursing home, and to everyone 75 and older. And in accordance with the updated EU recommendation, he adds, the risk of the serious track is lower for those under 75 here in Norway, if they take their three doses.
Calls for specific advice
The Elderly Ombudsman is not only concerned with elderly people who may become seriously ill in the coming weeks. They are also concerned that the authorities are still sitting in the boat.
– We also see hospital numbers, and I’ve heard of many who have had Omicron, who are tired long after being sick. Why was there no more advice from the authorities? A new wave of infections was announced earlier and was expected, so you should be in place with good information from the authorities about what to expect in the future and what the vaccination will be like, says Lund Jacobsen.
So the online newspaper sent several questions to the Norwegian Directorate of Health about exactly this, especially in light of the fact that there is a wave of infections in many European holiday countries now that could hit Norway hard later.
– WHO Emergency Director Michael Ryan says the dark numbers are now large in Europe, because there has been a “collapse in testing”. How are the preparations now for the reception of Norwegians from abroad who can bring the corona virus infection here? What will you do about any specific measures/things, even if it is a shared vacation?
It is true that large PCR testing systems have been discontinued in many countries, but in Norway we have instead got around 50 million self-tests that are partly stockpiled in municipalities and can be used immediately if testing needs increase. Norwegian municipalities have also been asked to maintain vaccination readiness, register self-tests on municipal websites and test patients under municipal care, the assistant director of the Norwegian Health Directorate, Espen Rostrup Nakstad, wrote in an email to Nettavisen.
To recommend that the FHI wait until fall with new recommendations on a fourth dose, Nakstad answers the following:
– NIPH has so far concluded that it only recommends a refreshing dose for those over 75 years of age. However, this is continually being evaluated in light of viral variants and vaccine information, and the NIPH will provide updated recommendations in due course.
However, the fourth dose of the vaccine did not go smoothly, just over two weeks after the recommendation was issued by the government. He wrote that there was not enough capacity to deliver vaccines across the country home friend newly.
Read also: Chief Physician of the International Family Health Organization: – Closing schools during the pandemic was a mistake
– We planned for the summer under different conditions. The infection situation was calm in the spring, but change came quickly. So we came up with a recommendation for a booster dose for seniors, but we didn’t plan to send the vaccination in July. We have now set up an additional delivery in week 29, department manager Are S. Berg at FHI told the newspaper.
The chief ombudsman, for his part, is not happy about this.
– It is not surprising that a new wave came. NIH director Camilla Stoltenberg said, among other things, that “everyone” should expect infection. Then care must be taken to get the vaccines to municipalities as quickly as possible, notes Jacobsen.
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