– We don’t have official figures on this, but we assume that there are several hundred thousand Norwegians who have not yet contracted covid-19 during the pandemic. This may be because they haven’t yet had enough virus to get infected or that they have an especially good effect from the vaccine — or both, Nakstad tells Dagbladet.
In what way does it get worse, the longer it takes before you get infected?
The immune system protects us well from infectious diseases that we have just received or have recently been vaccinated against, whether through antibodies or cellular immunity. For SARS-CoV-2, immunity appears to begin to wane after half a year, also because new virus variants keep emerging in the meantime, says Nakstad and continues:
– This means that a person who contracted the Wuhan virus in March 2020 is likely to get sicker than BA. 5 Variable from the person with BA. 2 variant in winter 2022.
Nakstad points out that vaccines help iron out the differences.
But vaccines fortunately help to iron out these differences and we see that the elderly and the particularly vulnerable get good protection against serious diseases from a new dose of refresher.
So far The Institute of Public Health recommends People over the age of 65 and people over the age of 18 who have an underlying risk of developing severe COVID-19 should receive a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
At the time of writing, about 4.3 million people in Norway They received the first dose, while about three million received the third. Moreover, half of the people aged over 80 in Norway, who are particularly at risk of contracting the serious disease COVID-19, received the fourth dose.
Pfizer’s new coronavirus vaccine, which specifically targets omicron variants, is currently being evaluated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The company has already submitted an approval application to the US pharmaceutical authorities, and is also expected to submit an approval application to the EMA soon.
Earlier in August considered Institute of Public Health That the summer wave of infections had reached its peak and reported a slight decrease. Nakstad takes with it the following lessons from the summer wave:
– The wave of summer in Europe 2022 primarily told us that the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The fifth variant of the virus is a highly contagious variant that spreads easily when we live a normal life with many close contacts, he says and continues:
At the same time, the low incidence of serious disease states indicates that vaccines still protect well against serious diseases, even with new omicron variants constantly present. The magnitude of infection pressure in a community in the fall and winter will depend on the variants of the virus that spread next and how long it has been since we were last immunized against a viral infection or vaccine.
The Institute of Public Health has warned health institutions that they must be prepared for more admissions, outbreaks of new diseases, and more sick absences. Absenteeism due to illness is exactly what Nakstad believes could cause problems.
– What do you do if hospitals and hospital staff sound the alarm about winter overload?
As long as vaccines protect most people well from serious diseases, a new wave of infection will not necessarily mean a wave of hospitalized patients. This summer we saw that a large wave of infections resulted in about 200 new hospital admissions a week, but very few of them in intensive care units, says Nakstad and continues:
On the other hand, it can become a problem if multiple health service workers get sick at the same time from COVID-19, influenza or other respiratory viruses that usually circulate more abundantly in the coldest seasons.
However, it can be avoided, the assistant director of health believes.
– We can avoid this by following the advice to stay home when we are sick. It is also wise to test ourselves at home if we need to clarify whether or not you have covid-19.
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