Hopp til innhold

Get alerts of updates about «Coronavirus vaccine»

How often would you like to receive alerts from fhi.no? (This affects all your alerts)
Do you also want alerts about:

The email address you register will only be used to send you these alerts. You can cancel your alerts and delete your email address at any time by following the link in the alerts you receive.
Read more about the privacy policy for fhi.no

You have subscribed to alerts about:

  • Coronavirus vaccine

Article

Coronavirus vaccine - information for the public

The purpose of vaccination against COVID-19 is to prevent disease or to give a milder disease course without being exposed to serious side effects. We will inform about the effect and potential side effects so everyone can make an informed choice.

Folkehelseinstituttet
Folkehelseinstituttet

The purpose of vaccination against COVID-19 is to prevent disease or to give a milder disease course without being exposed to serious side effects. We will inform about the effect and potential side effects so everyone can make an informed choice.


Vaccination near me

Each municipality is responsible for offering coronavirus vaccination to people who live there. Check the website of your municipality to see how vaccination is carried out locally and when you will be offered the vaccine. Find the link to your municipality here:

The offer is available to everyone in recommended groups living in Norway, including foreign citizens. It also applies if you began primary vaccination abroad, but need to take more doses while you are living in Norway. It is not available to Norwegians or others living abroad.

Coronavirus vaccination is free. All vaccination in Norway is voluntary.

About vaccination

The solutions used for appointments vary between municipalities. Check your municipality's website for information about the local arrangements. Contact your municipality if you need an interpreter or other special arrangements for vaccination.

Do not turn up for vaccination, and tell the centre as soon as possible, if on the day you have cold symptoms or a fever over 38 °C.

Tell the person giving the vaccine: 

  • if you have had earlier doses of coronavirus vaccine
  • if you have had COVID-19 disease and how long ago
  • you have received another vaccine within the last 7 days 

Before vaccination you will be asked to answer some questions about your health:

The vaccine is given by an injection in the upper arm. 

After you have had the vaccine, you will be asked to wait for 20 minutes in case you experience any reactions. Everyone who administers vaccines has had training and necessary medication will be available to treat possible allergic reactions.

It is not recommended to take another vaccine on the same day as the coronavirus vaccine. There should be at least 1 week between the coronavirus vaccine and other vaccines. If there is a strong need to take several vaccines at the same time, you should consult a doctor.

The coronavirus vaccine can be given at the same time as the regular seasonal influenza vaccine. For other vaccines, it is recommended that these are not given at the same time as the coronavirus vaccine, but there should be at least 1 week interval between vaccinations. If there is a strong need to take several vaccines at once, you should consult a doctor.

More information about the vaccines used in Norway, available in many languages:

Interval between dose 1 and 2 (primary vaccination)

We distinguish between the primary vaccination series and booster vaccination. For booster vaccines, see the separate section below.

For most groups who are offered the coronavirus vaccine, the primary vaccination series comprises of two doses. The second dose should be given after 3-12 weeks. It is important that you try to take the second dose at the scheduled time.  

Recommended minimum interval between dose 1 and 2 for vaccines offered in the Coronavirus Immunisation Programme

Vaccine

Number of doses to complete primary vaccination

Recommended minimum interval between dose 1 and 2

Comirnaty (BioNTech and Pfizer)

2

21 days

Spikevax (Moderna)

2

28 days

Nuvaxovid (Novavax)

2

21 dager

Combination of Comirnaty, Spikevax or Nuvaxovid

2

28 days

The interval between doses can be important both for the degree of protection and for the validity of the COVID-19 certificate. 

Not everyone is given primary vaccination with two doses: 

People with severely weakened immune systems (immunosuppressed) often have a poorer effect of vaccines than others. This means that many of these do not get a good enough effect from the first two doses. This group is therefore offered dose 3 in order to complete primary vaccination. For these, an interval between the 2nd and 3rd dose is recommended to be a minimum of 4 weeks. More information about this group can be found here:

Combination of different vaccines

Different types of coronavirus vaccines can be combined if it is difficult to give two doses with the same vaccine, or is requested for other reasons. Good protection is expected even if different vaccines are used. Other types of side effects have not been observed when different vaccine types are combined. 

Booster doses

New booster dose before the coming autumn/winter season

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) recommends that the following groups should take a booster dose of coronavirus vaccine before the coming autumn/ winter season:

  • adults aged 65 years and above
  • adults aged 18-64 years with underlying risk of a severe disease course
  • adolescents aged 12-17 years with severe underlying conditions
  • pregnant women in their second and third trimesters

For most people this will be their 4th dose, but for those with severely impaired immune systems, this will their 5th dose.  

The recommendation to take a new booster dose also applies if you have recently recovered from COVID-19. Having had COVID-19 will give good protection after you have been ill and you can therefore wait 3-4 months before you need to be given a new dose.

The recommended interval between a previous vaccine dose should be a minimum of 4 months.

You can take the regular seasonal influenza vaccine together with a booster dose of coronavirus vaccine. Check with your municipality or doctor where you live.

It is also possible for people in the 18-64 year age group without underlying risk conditions can choose to take a new booster dose if they wish.

Adapted coronavirus vaccines available in Norway

In September 2022, the European medicine agencies approved adapted versions of the COVID-19 vaccines Comirnaty and Spikevax. The adapted vaccines cover both the original virus and the newer coronavirus variants now in circulation (omicron BA.1 or BA.4-5).

A booster dose of the adapted vaccines appears to provide an equally good antibody production against the original Wuhan virus as the previous vaccines did. However, the adapted vaccines provide a better antibody response to the coronavirus variants that are currently circulating (Omicron). That these vaccines give a higher antibody level will probably give increased protection against infection, but it is not yet clear how large this difference actually is, and how long it lasts. However, protection against a severe COVID-19 disease course that requires admission to hospital is believed to be similar for the original mRNA vaccines and the new, adapted vaccines. The side effects from the new adapted vaccines so far appear to be the same as from booster vaccination with the original vaccines.

If you have recently been vaccinated with a booster dose of the original vaccines, you have already boosted your immunity against a severe disease course and do not need a dose of adapted vaccine now.

If you prefer to use one of the original vaccines for your booster dose rather than one of the new adapted vaccines, you can notify the vaccination site.

How do mRNA vaccines work? 

The coronavirus vaccines used in the coronavirus immunisation programme, Comirnaty (from BioNTech/Pfizer) and Spikevax (from Moderna), are mRNA vaccines. 

The vaccines contains the recipe (messenger RNA, or mRNA) for the characteristic spikes on the coronavirus encased in small fat bubbles. The body uses this recipe to make harmless copies of these spikes for the immune system to practise on. In this way, the immune system learns to recognise the coronavirus spikes and can defend the body if it becomes infected with the virus.

The messenger RNA is rapidly broken down by the body and has no effect on the body's genetic material.

In addition, the vaccines contain substances to keep them stable during production, storage and transport, as well as to provide the right pH, which is important for reducing pain during injection. These substances are water, salts and sugar.

  • The vaccines do not contain live virus and do not cause COVID-19 disease. 
  • Antibiotics are not used in the production process, so the vaccines do not contain antibiotics or antibiotic residues.
  • The vaccines do not contain adjuvants, which are substances that are added to some vaccines to increase the immune system's response. The vaccines do not contain products derived from pigs. The vaccines do not contain mercury.

The coronavirus vaccines act to prevent disease. They cannot cure an ongoing illness.

More information about mRNA vaccines:

How does Nuvaxovid (Novavax) work?

The coronavirus vaccine Nuvaxovid (from Novavax) is a protein-based vaccine based on a traditional vaccine technology. Similar technology is used in vaccine against hepatitis B and whooping cough. It contains a variant of the characteristic spikes (spike protein) on the coronavirus that the immune system can practise on. This is how the body learns to recognise and defend itself against real coronavirus if you later become infected.

The vaccine also contains a new ingredient (adjuvant) containing saponins from soap bark and fats (cholesterol and phospholipids). This helps to enhance the body's own immune response to get the best possible effect from the vaccine. Nuvaxovid also contains an emulsifier (Polysorbate 80) which ensures that fats and water in the adjuvant remain evenly mixed.

In addition, the vaccine contains water, various salts and sugar compounds that will keep it stable during production, storage and transport, as well as provide the right pH that is important for reducing pain during injection.

  • The vaccine does not contain live viruses and does not cause coronavirus disease.
  • Antibiotics are not used in the production process, so the vaccines do not contain antibiotics or antibiotic residues.
  • The vaccine does not contain products from pigs and does not contain mercury.

The coronavirus vaccine has a preventive effect. It cannot cure an ongoing illness.

More information about Nuvaxovid:

Vaccine against coronavirus - Nuvaxovid (Novavax)

Vaccination with different coronavirus vaccines

For most people, two doses are needed to complete the primary vaccination series, and several groups are also recommended to have a booster dose to get the best possible protection. Some will be offered, or request, a different coronavirus vaccine as dose 2 or as a booster vaccine than the one they began with. In principle, you are recommended to accept the vaccine you are offered, but it is also possible to choose which type of vaccine you want to take.

Side effects and symptoms after vaccination

The coronavirus vaccines can cause side effects in many of those vaccinated, but they are mostly mild / moderate and pass after a few days. For some, the symptoms may be more severe. The mRNA vaccines appear to cause more of the common side effects than other vaccines. Nuvaxovid generally has slightly milder side effects with a shorter duration than the mRNA vaccines.The side effects after all three coronavirus vaccines usually occur during the first 1-2 days after vaccination. Common side effects are pain and swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, chills, joint pain and fever. Allergic reactions occur in some people. There is good knowledge about common side effects after vaccination, but rare side effects cannot be ruled out.

Among the rarer side effects reported from mRNA vaccines and Nuvaxovid are inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) and inflammation of the pericardium (pericarditis). The condition most often occurs among adolescents and young adults. It also seems to occur more often with the use of Spikevax (Moderna) than with Comirnaty (BioNTech/Pfizer). When offering coronavirus vaccines to people under 30 years, the NIPH recommends the use of Comirnaty for both men and women.

Among those who experience these very rare symptoms, they usually appear within a week after the second dose, and are temporary so that most people recover within one month. The condition causes chest pain, wheezing, palpitations and fever. In case of such symptoms, consult a doctor for a medical examination. Norwegian cardiologists consider that COVID-19 disease can cause more serious heart effects in some people than after the vaccine, and that this rare side effect should not prevent adolescents from being offered the vaccine.

Cases of menstrual disorders have been reported as a possible side effect in young women following coronavirus vaccination. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health uses population studies to get answers as to whether there may be a connection between the coronavirus vaccines and these symptoms. The initial results from these studies among young women showed that more reported heavier menstrual bleeding after coronavirus vaccination. This is being closely monitored.

Symptoms that occur in the period after vaccination are not always due to the vaccine. Vaccine side effects can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from symptoms of infections or other diseases. If you experience unexpected, severe or prolonged symptoms after vaccination, you should contact your doctor or other healthcare professional for assessment and advice. Healthcare professionals have a duty to report serious or unknown reactions that they suspect are due to a vaccine. You can also send a message via the form via helsenorge.no.

Follow-up of side effects

When vaccines are developed, the goal is always for vaccines to give the best possible effect with the fewest possible side effects. Even if the new vaccines are tested thoroughly, rare side effects cannot be ruled out. Some side effects are only discovered when vaccines are in wider use, and have been given to many more people and to more varied groups than in the studies.

After the vaccines are in use, the Norwegian Medicines Agency, together with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, will monitor closely whether any unexpected side effects arise. There is also extensive international collaboration with the other countries that use the same vaccines. In addition, the vaccine manufacturers are required to conduct new systematic safety studies.

What happens to the notifications about side effects?

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) processes reports of suspected side effects from healthcare personnel. The notifications are entered in the ADR Registry at the Norwegian Medicines Agency.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency publishes regular reports with an overview of reports of suspected adverse reactions after vaccination in Norway.

Notifications from healthcare professionals are thoroughly assessed to find out if the incident may be due to the vaccine, or if it happened at the same time as vaccination. It is important to be aware that events that coincide in time are not necessarily due to vaccination. Therefore, a medical examination is recommended to check for other explanations for the events. In some cases, it can be difficult to conclude whether an event is due to a vaccine or coincidence based on one or a few single events. 

Protection and immunity after vaccination

  • The vaccines used in the immunisation programme have a very good effect against a COVID-19 disease course that is so serious that hospital treatment is needed. This means that in those cases where people have COVID-19 despite vaccination, the vaccine can contribute to a milder disease course. This also seems to apply to the omicron variant. 
  • Although vaccinated people have a much lower risk than unvaccinated people of getting COVID-19, vaccinated people could also be infected and transmit infection further. Therefore, it is important that vaccinated people follow the current infection control advice.

Vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding women

Vaccination of children and adolescents

Children and adolescents rarely have a severe COVID-19 disease course, although some may be admitted to hospital. Vaccination can reduce this risk.

Of the mRNA vaccines, the vaccine from BioNTech / Pfizer (Comirnaty) is used for people under 30 years. Children 5–11 years will be offered child doses of the vaccine. Immunity following infection, with or without a single dose of vaccine, can also provide broad and lasting protection in children and adolescents.

The following recommendations and offers about coronavirus vaccine apply for children and adolescents: 

Who

How

Adolescents born 2003, 2004 and 2005 

Everyone should complete the primary vaccination series with 2 doses of coronavirus vaccine
 
8-12 week intervals between doses
 
Those who have previously had COVID-19 are recommended 1 dose of coronavirus vaccine
 
Those who have turned 18 may have a booster dose if they wish and it has been at least 20 weeks since the last dose of the primary vaccination series.
 
Adolescents with severely weakened immune systems should be vaccinated with 3 doses of coronavirus vaccine.

Children and adolescents 5-15 years with serious underlying conditions

Should complete the primary vaccination series with 2 doses of coronavirus vaccine

8-12 week intervals between doses

An adapted vaccination regimen (down to 3 weeks interval) is appropriate for some children with severe underlying conditions, based on the medical assessment. 

Children and adolescents with severely weakened immune systems should be vaccinated with 3 doses of coronavirus vaccine.

Children and adolescents born 2006 - 2009 

May be vaccinated with both 1 and 2 doses if they and their guardians wish.

Dose 1 vil redusere den allerede lave risikoen for et alvorlig forløp av covid-19. 

Dose 2 kan også ha positiv nytte, men tilleggseffekten er begrenset siden risiko for alvorlig sykdom allerede er svært lav etter første vaksinedose. 

Dose 2 er særlig aktuelt for de som har kroniske sykdommer, har nær kontakt med utsatte personer, eller skal oppholde seg i eller reise til land som krever 2 doser i koronasertifikat for denne aldersgruppen (gjelder ikke alle land). 

If a second dose is given, it should be given at an interval of 8-12 weeks. Vaccination still has the same effect even with a longer interval between doses.

Children born 2010 - 2016 and those born in 2017 who have turned5 years. 

May be vaccinated with both 1 and 2 doses if they and their guardians wish. The vaccine is particularly relevant for:
  • Children with chronic diseases
  • Families where children have close contact with persons in special need of protection
  • Children who are at increased risk because they will be moving to or staying in countries with a higher risk of infection or poorer access to health services than in Norway, or children who for other reasons live in a particularly exposed situation
For those who choose the vaccine, the NIPH considers that one dose gives the best benefit-risk balance in this age group.
 
If a second dose is given, it should be given at an interval of 8-12 weeks. Vaccination still has the same effect even with a longer interval between doses.

Children under 5 years 

  • Coronavirus vaccines are not approved for children under 5 years 

 

Other countries may require more vaccine doses for children and adolescents than recommended upon arrival. 

Read more about the recommendation for 5-15-year-olds:

About consent from parents and the child's right to co-determination

Those who have reached the age of 16 are of legal age and can consent to vaccination themselves. For children who are offered the coronavirus vaccine, but have not yet reached 16 years of age), parents must consent to vaccination. In the case of joint parental responsibility, both must consent. Children and adolescents under 16 should be consulted, based on age and maturity and their opinion should be given weight. Vaccination is voluntary.

Right to tailored information

Children have the right to receive tailored information. Parents should talk to their children about the decision to vaccinate and help to convey important information about this. The texts below and the links to tailored information material are intended to assist in this.

Questions and answers about vaccination of 5-15-year-olds:

Why are children aged 5-15 offered a coronavirus vaccine?

The NIPH does not have a general recommendation for the coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5-15 years unless they have an underlying condition, but it is available. Those who want to take the vaccine can choose whether they want 1 or 2 doses. The NIPH considers that when children have COVID-19, it provides at least as good protection as vaccination. Children who have had an infection therefore do not need a vaccine to protect themselves against a new infection.

The NIPH's assessments for children aged 5-15 where they and their parents want a vaccine, but the child has had COVID-19:

  • Those who have had COVID-19 and would otherwise choose 1 vaccine dose do not need more because 1 dose of vaccine corresponds to the protection from having had COVID-19.
  • Those who have had COVID-19 and would otherwise choose 2 vaccine doses only need 1 vaccine dose since having had COVID-19 corresponds to 1 vaccine dose (as long as at least 3 weeks have passed between the positive test and the vaccine).

Other countries may have stricter requirements in connection with entry restrictions. If you need a valid COVID-19 certificate for travel, you must check which requirements apply for children at your destination. 

Can vaccination of children against coronavirus reduce transmission in society?

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health considers that the societal benefit of vaccinating children should not be given as much weight as the individual benefit. Vaccination of children 5-11 years, and a second dose to 12-15-year-olds may have some effect on transmission. However, the vaccine's effect against transmission of the omicron variant appears to be lower and has a shorter duration than against previous virus variants. Therefore, the effect on transmission by vaccinating the entire child population will be limited, when the infection will transmit regardless among the vaccinated.

How ill can 5-15 year olds become from coronavirus?

The risk of a severe COVID-19 disease course among healthy children is very low. There is no evidence that the omicron variant causes more severe disease among children than previous variants. The immune systems of children in this age group work faster and more effectively than in adults. They therefore become less ill, and recover faster than adults.
Severe COVID-19 disease in children is particularly associated with a rare inflammatory condition called MIS-C. It is estimated that the condition occurs in about 1 in 3,000 infected children, and is more common in children of primary school age than in adolescents. The hallmarks of MIS-C are persistent high fever and inflammatory reaction in several organs that occur 2-6 weeks after infection, and the children need hospital treatment. There is effective treatment for the condition, but the most serious cases still need intensive care. Hospital stays for these children last 5 days (median) in Norway. Follow-up 4-9 months after MIS-C internationally indicates a good prognosis, and this is also the experience in Norway.

People who have had COVID-19 disease may, in some cases, have persistent symptoms for a long time afterwards. In adults, a clear correlation has been seen between the severity of acute COVID-19 disease and the severity of long term problems. It may seem that such late effects are less common in children than in adults, but knowledge about this is limited. The most commonly reported symptoms are fatigue, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, stuffy nose, sleep problems and pain. The number of reported symptoms appears to decrease over time.

Do children get better protection from COVID-19 disease than from the vaccine?

Immunity following infection, with or without a dose of vaccine, can provide broad and lasting protection in children and adolescents. It may be an advantage for protection against new virus variants in the future as the risk of a severe disease course in this age group is low.

Which vaccine is offered to the 5-15 year age group?

In Norway, children and adolescents are only offered the Comirnaty vaccine from BioNTech/ Pfizer, even though Spikevax from Moderna has been approved from the age of 12 and up. This is to minimize the risk of rare side effects in the form of heart inflammation. It is also one of the most widely used coronavirus vaccines in children. Comirnaty is approved from 5 years and upwards and the age group 5-11 years will receive an adapted child dosage.

How good protection do 5-15-year-olds get from coronavirus vaccine?

Children receive very good protection from the coronavirus vaccine. The protection against a severe disease course is good already three weeks after vaccination with one dose. This age group generally has a very good effect of vaccines, and it will probably be better than for older age groups. This also applies to the omicron variant. The vaccine's protection against becoming infected and against mild illness is lower than against serious illness.

What side effects can 5-15 year olds get from COVID-19 disease?

The vast majority of side effects occur 1-2 days after vaccination, are mild / moderate and disappear after a few days. For some, the symptoms may be more severe. The coronavirus vaccines cause more of the common side effects than other vaccines. Younger people often have slightly more severe side effects than older people.

Common side effects are injection and swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, chills, joint pain and fever. Children aged 5-11 years more often experience pain at the injection site, but slightly less common side effects such as fatigue, headache, muscle aches and fever compared to adolescents and young adults. Allergic reactions occur in some people, including children and adolescents.

Among the rarer side effects reported are inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) and inflammation of the pericardium (pericarditis). The condition most often occurs in adolescents and young adults, but is also described in children aged 5-11 years. The condition occurs primarily after the second vaccine dose, and is more common in men than in women. The symptoms are chest pain, wheezing, palpitations and fever. It usually occurs within a week after vaccination. Most of those who get this condition are admitted to hospital for a few days. The prognosis is good and most people recover within one month. In case of symptoms that may be compatible with inflammation of the heart muscle or pericardium, you must consult a doctor to be examined. Norwegian cardiologists have assessed that COVID-19 disease may cause more severe cardiac effects in some people than the vaccine, and that this rare side effect should not prevent children from being offered the vaccine.

Cases of menstrual disturbances have been reported as a possible side effect after coronavirus vaccine. Preliminary results from a population study in Norway show that there may be an increased incidence of menstrual disorders in young women aged 18-30 years after coronavirus vaccination. After the first dose, most menstrual disorders were transient, for the second dose the follow-up in the study is still ongoing. Knowledge of the corresponding incidence under the age of 18 is limited and the interpretation of the data is particularly demanding in the youngest age group because it is normal to have an irregular cycle in the time after the first menstruation. There is no suspicion that the vaccines affect women's fertility.

There is less experience with coronavirus vaccination of children 5 -11 years than there is for the other age groups. We cannot rule out hitherto unknown side effects for this age group, rare side effects or side effects that arise long after vaccination.

Can children who have had COVID-19 disease be vaccinated?

Immunity following infection, with or without a dose of vaccine, can provide broad and lasting protection in children and adolescents. In Norway, we consider both COVID-19 disease and vaccination to be equivalent to "immunological events", as long as at least 3 weeks have passed between each of them. This means that the infection is equivalent to one dose of vaccine. Having had COVID-19 plus one vaccine dose is equivalent to two vaccine doses.

It is possible for those who want two vaccine doses to have them, despite having had COVID-19. This may be due to entry requirements to some countries or other non-medical reasons.

How do I get vaccinated?

The organisation will vary between the municipalities. See your municipality's website for information about the local offer.

How do I get an overview of vaccination status in children and adolescents?

For children under the age of 16, the parents can see the vaccines the child has received by logging in to the vaccine service on helsenorge.no and choosing the child in question.

Those who have reached the age of 16 are of legal age and can consent to vaccination themselves. For younger children (including those born in 2005, but not yet 16 years of age), parental consent must be obtained. In the case of joint parental responsibility, there must be consent from both parents.

Since the legal age of majority in Norway is 16 years, parents do not have access to their child's immunisation status after their 16th birthday. Buypass ID is available from the age of 13 years. Adolescents with this ID can check their vaccines themselves by logging in to the vaccine service at helsenorge.no.

Adolescents between the ages of 16 and 18 years who do not have a BuyPass ID can order a vaccination card directly from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. NB! This is NOT a COVID-19 certificate.

Read more about how to order a COVID-19 certificate:

Vaccination after having COVID-19

Until now in the coronavirus immunisation programme, infection has been counted as the equivalent to one vaccine dose when assessing the need for further doses.

For the groups who are recommended a new booster dose this autumn, the recommendation applies regardless of whether you have recently had COVID-19. At least 3 weeks should have passed from recovery until a dose of vaccine is given, although this gap can be longer. A longer interval will usually give a better response to the vaccine.

Vaccination of people who are sick, on medication or have allergies

It is common to postpone vaccination in cases of acute illness and with a fever above 38 °C.

Mast cell disease or uncontrolled asthma: If you have a mast cell disease, ask your doctor for an individual assessment, and of how you should be followed up both before and during vaccination.

Previous allergic reaction to COVID-19 vaccine or other serious allergic reaction to other vaccines, food, medicines, etc.: Contact your doctor for a personal assessment. If a doctor recommends that you be vaccinated, special precautions and a longer period of observation after vaccination may be necessary in order to manage any allergic reactions.

Increased bleeding tendency: If you are taking blood-thinning medication, you can be vaccinated in the normal way. If your bleeding tendency has increased due to another underlying medical condition, you should contact your doctor for an individual assessment. If you have haemophilia and are being treated with coagulation factor, you should be vaccinated on the same day as you receive your last dose of coagulation factor.

Severely impaired immunity: If you have severe immunodeficiency or are taking medications which severely impair your immune system, for example, due to haematological cancer, bone marrow transplant, organ transplant, etc., a shorter interval between doses is recommended for some vaccines. Tell the vaccination centre that you belong to this group, so they can adjust your vaccination schedule accordingly. If you are
unsure whether or not you belong to the group, consult the doctor who is treating you for advice.

Breastfeeding and pregnancy: Vaccination is recommended for breastfeeding women, there is no known risk of transfer of coronavirus vaccines to breast milk. Studies indicate that coronavirus vaccination is safe for both the pregnant woman and the foetus.
Vaccination is recommended for all pregnant women, regardless of trimester. 

Why do we vaccinate?

Having undergone an infectious disease will often provide some protection (immunity) against reinfection, but some diseases can cause such a strong inflammatory reaction in the body that, for some people, it can become dangerous. Some people become severely ill and may die, or have serious medical complications.

A vaccine gives the body something to practise on that resembles the disease virus, but that cannot cause the disease. The immune system is stimulated so the body can recognise and fight the virus. The vaccine quickly disappears from the body but has taught the body to defend itself if it is later exposed to infection. We can easily and effectively protect ourselves against some of the dangerous infectious diseases, without having to be exposed to the risk of having the disease.

In addition, vaccination can help to limit transmission in society.

Post-registration of coronavirus vaccines

How are EMA-approved coronavirus vaccines given outside Norway post-registered?

Vaccinations given in Norway are registered in SYSVAK, according to the SYSVAK registry regulations § 1-3 on maintaining an overview of vaccination coverage in the population.

If you were given an EMA-approved vaccine in another country, a COVID-19 certificate issued in the EU / EEA should primarily be used for border crossing, contact tracing and quarantine.

If you intend to stay in Norway for a longer period or have moved back, COVID-19 vaccinations approved in the EU can be post-registered in SYSVAK provided there is credible written documentation.

Who can you contact to post-register coronavirus vaccine(s) in SYSVAK?

  • General practitioner (doctor)
  • Municipal health service (see Implementation above)
  • Private health service 

What documentation do you need?

  • COVID-19 certificate issued in the EU / EEA
  • Written documentation of vaccination

How do you do this?

  • Request a consultation with a healthcare professional in one the above services (video or physical consultation).
  • Residents must log in to Helsenorge to check the COVID-19 certificate (the time taken to update the information on Helsenorge varies due to different medical record systems, but usually within 24 hours).

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health cannot post-register vaccines on behalf of private individuals.

Vaccination cards and COVID-19 certificates

Vaccination card

A vaccination card is a documentation of which vaccines you have been given (in Norway) and are registered for you. You can log in to the vaccine service at helsenorge.no and download your electronic vaccination card. Coronavirus vaccination will also be visible on the card.

Vaccination cards are available in Norwegian and English.

COVID-19 certificate

Both the EU authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) are considering the possibility of introducing a global vaccination certificate/"passport" for those who have been vaccinated against coronavirus (as for yellow fever vaccination). The idea is that this could give certain rights, for example, to fly, cross borders and participate in events.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health, in collaboration with the Norwegian Directorate of Health, the Directorate for e-Health, the Norwegian Health Network SF and other relevant actors, has been commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Care Services (HOD) to map the requirements and possible solutions for establishing an international vaccine passport.

History

18.11.2022: Updated with text about booster doses to 18-64 years without underlying conditions

28.10.2022: updated paragraph about side effects with sentence about menstruation

14.10.2022: Updated sentence under "about vaccination": The coronavirus vaccine can be given at the same time as the regular seasonal influenza vaccine. For other vaccines, it is recommended that these are not given at the same time as the coronavirus vaccine, but there should be at least 1 week interval between vaccinations. If there is a strong need to take several vaccines at once, you should consult a doctor.

12.10.2022: Added sentence about taking a booster dose together with influenza vaccine.

30.09.2022: Updated table for children according to the vaccination guidelines chapter.

26.09.2022: Text about booster doses updated.

16.09.2022: Updated according to booster doses for risk groups

07.09.2022: General updates and new text about the adapted vaccines.

01.07.2022: New paragraph about advice for booster dose for over 75 year olds, otherwise small adjustments to text.

28.04.2022: Removed text about Vaxzevria into its own article and linked up from here.

22.04.2022: Updated text as per Norwegian version. News text about booster doses

06.04.2022: Updated paragraph about breastfeeding and pregnancy

08.03.2022: Removed section about Janssen vaksine - now published as a separate article.

28.02.2022: Added information that Nuvaxovid does not contain antibiotics or products from pigs.

16.02.2022: Imported text from an archived article from the coronavirus guidelines - sections What advice applies if you are vaccinated or have had COVID-19 before and have newly-arisen respiratory tract symptoms? and What is meant by primary vaccination, booster vaccination and partial vaccination?

28.01.2022: Advice about 3rd dose to people with severe immunodeficiency now applies to all age groups

26.01.2022: Adjusted wording in the table on vaccination of children and adolescents so that «if dose 2 is given, there should be an interval of 8-12 weeks. Vaccination still has the same effect even if there is a longer interval between doses ». Previous text was that «it is an advantage to have a long interval of more than 12 weeks after the first dose. This is to reduce the risk of side effects».

24.01.2022: Updated sentence: Adolescents 5–15 years with severe underlying disease (was 12-15)

20.01.2022: The section about booster doses has been expanded with more informasjon for those who have had COVID-19 and booster doses.

20.01.2022: Expanded answer to "Why are children aged 5-15 offered a coronavirus vaccine?"

14.01.2022: Updated text in line with expanded vaccine offer for children announced today. The section on protection and immunity after vaccination has been adjusted with updated information on the effect of the vaccines against the omicron variant.

12.01.2022: New sentence about Comirnaty being offered to men and women under 30. The terms full/basic vaccination replaced with primary vaccination series.

12.01.2022: Replaced basic/full vaccination with primary vaccination series

21.12.2021: Updated text about booster doses

15.12.2021: Updated text about 5-11 year-olds

15.12.2021: The interval between dose 2 and the booster dose must be at least 20 weeks.

07.12.2021: Updated this sentence: The interval between the last dose in the basic vaccination (for most people dose 2) and the booster dose is a minimum of 5 months for everyone who is recommended a booster dose.

03.12.2021: Article reviewed, updates in several sections, including intervals, booster doses, different vaccines, side effects, mutations, children and adolescents

26.11.2021: Corrected interval table - minimum 5 months

24.11.2021: Updated sentence: Therefore, they are offered a booster dose a minimum of 5 months after dose 2. 

10.11.2021: Updates to several sections - what can vaccinated people do, protection and immunity, vaccination of people who are sick, on medication and allergic, people who have had COVID-19, intervals - third dose and booster doses

05.10.2021: Changed the recommended interval to 12 weeks for 16-17-year-olds, and added a footnote that it can be shortened down to 8 weeks if practical conditions so require.

04.09.2021: Added text about the offer of coronavirus vaccine for adolescents 12-15 years. Removed sentence that you should not show up at the vaccination site if you are waiting for a test result. Otherwise some minor adjustments and text editing that do not entail any change in existing advice and recommendations.

02.09.2021: Updated text about vaccines to children

25.08.2021: Updated section about children and adolescents

19.08.2021: Removed sentence about not attending vaccination if pregnant

18.08.2021: Updated with information about vaccination of 16-17-year-olds.

17.08.2021: Updated text about intervals. Updated text about documentation of recovery from COVID-19

29.07.2021: New section about intervals. Added link to news article about mixing mRNA vaccines

26.07.2021: Change in sentence to reflect Norwegian text "The antibody test must be taken at the latest on the same day as the first dose is given" (changed from "day before").

02.07.2021: Removed text about pregnancy and breastfeeding and added a link to a page with further information

02.07.2021: In addition, vaccination helps to limit transmission in society so that we can all gradually return to a more normal daily life.

28.06.2021: Updated section: People with valid documentation of having COVID-19 from Norway

21.06.2021: Added paragraph about combinations of coronavirus vaccines. Changed from 9 to 12 week interval

17.06.2021: Specified that antibody testing must be taken no later than the day before vaccination for a valid COVID-19 certificate based on the combination of confirmed COVID-19 and one dose of vaccine.

16.06.2021: New section: Post-registration of coronavirus vaccines

09.06.2021: Updated text about AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines

08.06.2021: New section: People without valid documentation of having COVID-19 from Norway

07.06.2021: Changed interval between vaccines from 12 to 9 weeks, following Government announcement

21.05.2021: Some restructuring of text, cut down on text,

19.05.2021: Updated text about vaccine from AstraZeneca

11.05.2021: About vaccination: added sentence about people in entry quarantine and vaccination What can vaccinated people do - updated text and link to article.

30.04.2021: Updated with information on 12-week interval for the mRNA vaccine for people under 65 years without underlying disease

29.04.2021: New paragraph about what vaccinated people can do. Updated paragraph about pregnancy.

22.04.2021: Paragraphs about viral vector vaccines updated

19.04.2021: Small adjustments throughout article, as per Norwegian version

31.03.2021: updated text with interval of 6 weeks for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines

15.03.2021: New section about AstraZeneca vaccine being put on hold.

10.03.2021 Updated section on vaccination after having COVID-19 and section on protection from viral vector vaccines.

18.02.2021: New paragraphs: "Why do we vaccinate?" "How the viral vector vaccines work / ingredients" "Coronavirus vaccination and testing" "Mutated virus variants." Updated section "Protection and immunity after vaccination" "vaccination cards and certificates"

15.02.2021: Updated section about "Choice of Vaccine"

12.02.2021: New sections added: "Doctor in another municipality", "What happens to the notifications about side effects?", "Effect on society", "After vaccination - stay at home or be tested for symptoms?", "Beta-blockers".

09.02.2021: Added link to information brochure about COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

08.02.2021: Added link to "If you experience symptoms after vaccination"

04.02.2021: Added information about AstraZeneca coming soon. Changed link for self-reporting to helsenorge

01.02.2021: Added information about ingredients, increased bleeding tendency, testing before vaccination and choice of vaccine.

22.01.2021: Added link to "Who will get the vaccine?"

18.01.2021: General updates according to Norwegian version.

12.01.2021: Updated text about pregnancy and breastfeeding. Added link to Moderna vaccine.

05.01.2021 Updated text, removed some text that is found in the "Who will get the vaccine?"article.

02.01.2021 Added text to section about Effect regarding uncertainty until more people are vaccinated.

15.12.2020 Added text about vaccination cards and vaccination certificates.

04.12.2020 Updated text