Home World Britain was right! Norway joins EU nations backtracking on AstraZeneca vaccine restriction

Britain was right! Norway joins EU nations backtracking on AstraZeneca vaccine restriction

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Health chiefs said the decision had been taken in light of the new information and should speed up the vaccination of the elderly. Like several other European countries, Norway had limited the vaccine to the under-65s citing a lack of sufficient documentation on its effects on the elderly.

France, Germany and Italy were all forced to back down after accepting the shot developed by UK scientists was perfectly safe and effective.

And the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has now also recommended extending access to the vaccine to all people over 18.

Norway also wants to extend the interval between the injection of the two doses of the Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines from three to six weeks, a measure still depending on the final green light from the Institute of Public Health.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg told MPs: “We now expect that all adults will have been offered the vaccine by or during the summer.”

Ms Solberg also warned Norway is likely to need stronger restrictions to combat the latest resurgence in coronavirus infections.

Norway’s incidence rate is one of the lowest in Europe but the number of new cases recently started to rise again, sparking fears that a third wave of the outbreak may be underway.

The Prime Minister said: “Ahead of us is another hill to climb, probably with tighter national measures before we can ease and then lift the restrictions.

“If we manage to keep the epidemic under control in March and April the goal of returning to a more normal life is within our grasp and we can start to reopen the country in May.”

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She warned authorities could impose new measures applicable everywhere, which would include a ban on the serving of alcohol and the closure of many places frequented by the public.

In the capital region, where the more contagious variant first identified in Britain now dominates, non-essential stores are already closed, restaurants are only allowed to provide takeaway service and some schools are shut.

A total of 632 people had died with COVID-19 in Norway since the start of the pandemic.

The country of 10 million inhabitants registered 39 new deaths, taking the total to 13,042. The deaths registered have occurred over several days and sometimes weeks.

Sweden’s death rate per capita is many times higher than that of its Nordic neighbours’ but lower than in several European countries that opted for lockdowns.

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)



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