Designated groups of personnel in health care services will be offered vaccination against COVID-19
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The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) recommends reserving vaccines for 15,000 employees in specialist health care. The primary health care can receive up to 20 per cent of the doses that are designated for the municipalities. The reason for this is a significant risk of more cases of infection in the weeks to come.
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– The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has already recommended to the government that health personnel should be given priority for COVID-19 vaccination, but after the risk groups. However, we have recommended that the order could be adjusted if there is an increase in cases of infection, and we are now doing this adjustment. There is a significant danger that the next four weeks will show many new local outbreaks and also an increase in the various regions in the country, says Camilla Stoltenberg, Director-General of the NIPH.
The reason for this adjustment in priority is partly related to the infection situation in the neighbouring countries, and also the risk assessment regarding development in the infection rates for the next few weeks in Norway. This is among other things is related to the significant increase in travel and increased social contact during the period of Christmas and New Year. The NIPH is also concerned about imported infection cases and mutations of the virus that can lead to an increased spread of the coronavirus.
The risk assessment can change quickly, but planning for vaccination takes a long time. Therefore, the NIPH proposes to adjust the priorities already now. Vaccination of health personnel starts in week 2, 2021.
Prioritization between different groups
Vaccination in selected groups of health personnel will take place in parallel with the vaccination of residents in nursing homes and risk groups above the age of 85.
There is a total of 370,000 health personnel in the country, but currently not enough vaccines for all of them so priorities must be set. The institute has had a dialogue with, and received input from, both the Norwegian Medical Association , the Norwegian Nurses' Association, The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (RF) and the regional health authorities (RHFs) about which groups of health personnel should be given priority.
– It is agreed that securing the capacity of essential services with personnel who are critically difficult to replace if they end up in isolation should be given priority in the first instance. It is the regional health authorities and the municipalities that will assess this, but the NIPH has made proposals for a set of criteria that can be helpful in prioritizing between different groups, says director Camilla Stoltenberg.
- Possible criteria for prioritizing between health personnel groups in the specialist health service (PDF). (Norwegian only) Mulige kriterier for å prioritere mellom helsepersonellgrupper i spesialisthelsetjenesten (PDF).
- See note Possible criteria for prioritizing between health personnel groups in the primary health service (PDF). (Norwegian only) Mulige kriterier for å prioritere mellom helsepersonellgrupper i primærhelsetjenesten (PDF).
See also the last two risk assessments from NIPH:
- New variants of SARS-CoV-2: knowledge, risk and response 2020-12-27 (PDF) (Norwegian only) Nye varianter av SARS-CoV-2: kunnskap, risiko og respons 2020-12-27 (PDF)
- Knowledge, situation, forecast, risk and response in Norway after week 51 (PDF) (Norwegian only) Kunnskap, situasjon, prognose, risiko og respons i Norge etter uke 51 (PDF)