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  • Adults need booster vaccines every ten years

Article

Adults need booster vaccines every ten years

Not all the vaccines we are given as children give lifelong protection. Some of the vaccines need booster doses in adulthood to maintain protection against disease.

Illustrasjonsfoto: Vaksinasjon
Foto: NTB Scanpix

Not all the vaccines we are given as children give lifelong protection. Some of the vaccines need booster doses in adulthood to maintain protection against disease.


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Booster dose for vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and poliomyelitis

Through the Childhood Immunisation Programme, children are offered the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and poliomyelitis in 2nd grade (approximately 7 years) and in 10th grade (approximately 15 years). We recommend that adults should take a booster dose every ten years. The recommendation applies to all adults, not just those who intend to travel. 

Taking a booster dose every ten years ensures both personal protection and a high level of immunity in the population. When the majority of the population is protected against a disease, herd immunity is achieved that protects those who are unvaccinated. With low vaccination coverage, diseases that are currently under control in Norway (such as polio and diphtheria) could return.

The vaccines are given as one dose (combination vaccine). The vaccine costs 300 Norwegian kroner. You may be charged a fee for the consultation to get the vaccine, this will vary depending on where you get the vaccine. 

Do I need a booster dose of the measles vaccine?

Most adults who were born and grew up in Norway are protected against measles, either because they are vaccinated or they have had the disease. The measles vaccine was introduced in the Childhood Immunisation Programme for one-year-olds in 1969, and as part of the MMR vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella for 6th grade schoolchildren in 1983.

  • Born in 1970 or later:
    • Those who know that they have followed the Childhood Immunisation Programme will have been offered the measles vaccine. More doses are not necessary.
    • If they are unsure if they have followed the Childhood Immunisation Programme (and therefore had a measles/MMR vaccine), or are unsure if have had measles are recommended to have one dose of the MMR vaccine.  Most will then achieve long-term protection.
  • Born in/after 1960 up to/including 1969: The majority will have had measles (and therefore do not need the vaccine), but after the measles vaccine was introduced, there were fewer cases of the disease. This means that some may lack protection because they either have not had the vaccine or had measles. In doubt, we recommend one dose of the MMR vaccine.
  • Born before 1960: The probability for having had measles is so high that the MMR vaccine is considered unnecessary.

There is no increased risk of unwanted effects from the MMR vaccine for those who were already vaccinated or have had the diseases in the vaccine.

Do I need a booster dose of the other vaccines in the Childhood Immunisation Programme?

There is generally no need for booster doses of the other vaccines offered in the programme. In some cases, revaccination may be needed because of disease or medical treatment.

Where can you get a booster vaccine?

Contact your GP or travel vaccination clinic to arrange an appointment.

Unsure if you need a booster dose?

Log in to the vaccine service at helsenorge.no to check the vaccination status for you and your children under 16 years.

The status includes vaccinations that public health clinics, GPs or vaccination clinics have registered in the Norwegian Immunisation Registry SYSVAK. 

All vaccinations must be notified to SYSVAK. Until October 2009, the obligation to notify SYSVAK included vaccines given in the Childhood Immunisation Programme. The obligation to notify SYSVAK for all vaccinations in all age groups first occurred in 2011. Vaccines given before that may not be registered in SYSVAK.

History

28.11.2022: Text reviewed according to Norwegian version - updated paragraph about SYSVAK notification.