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Article

Who will get the coronavirus vaccine?

Published Updated

Initially, there will not be enough coronavirus vaccine available for everyone in the recommended groups, so it must be given first to those who need it most.

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Initially, there will not be enough coronavirus vaccine available for everyone in the recommended groups, so it must be given first to those who need it most.


Current order of priority: 

1. Residents in nursing homes and selected groups of healthcare personnel #

2. Age 85 years and above and selected groups of healthcare personnel #

3. Age 75-84 years

4. Age 65-74 years
AND people between 18 and 64 years with these diseases/ conditions at high risk of a severe disease course (marked with * in the list below)  

5. Age 55-64 years with underlying diseases/conditions (see the list below)  

6. Age 45-54 years with underlying diseases/conditions 

7. Age 18-44 years with underlying diseases/conditions 

8. Age 55-64 years

9. Age 45-54 years 

# The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has assessed that at the turn of the year 2020/2021 there is a significant risk of many new local outbreaks and a regional increase in the next four weeks. Selected groups of healthcare personnel and other employees in the health and care service are therefore prioritised together with residents in nursing homes and people aged 85 and older. Knowledge of the safety and efficacy of each approved vaccine, as well as the infection status in the country, will determine a possible broadening of this recommendation for healthcare personnel.

People with the following disease/ conditions are defined as medical risk groups: 

  • Organ transplant*
  • Immunodeficiency*
  • Hematologic (blood) cancer in the last 5 years*
  • Other active cancer, ongoing or recently finished treatment for cancer (especially immunosuppressive therapy, radiation therapy to the lungs or chemotherapy)* 
  • Neurological or muscular disease with impaired coughing strength or lung function (e.g., ALS, Downs Syndrome)*
  • Chronic kidney disease or significantly impaired renal function
  • Chronic liver disease or significantly impaired liver function 
  • Immunosuppressive therapy, e.g. with autoimmune diseases
  • Diabetes  
  • Chronic lung disease, including cystic fibrosis and severe asthma that has required the use of high-dose inhaled steroids or steroid tablets during the last year
  • Obesity with body mass index (BMI) of ≥ 35 kg/m2 or higher
  • Dementia 
  • Chronic cardiovascular disease (except high blood pressure)
  • Stroke

Other serious and / or chronic diseases not mentioned in the list above may also increase the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19. This should be assessed individually by a doctor.

* These diseases/ conditions can give a high risk for a severe disease course and death among younger people. 

You will be contacted by your doctor or the municipality for vaccination when it is your turn. Check your municipality's website for details. 

The vaccine is free, and it is not possible to pay to get the vaccine earlier.

Healthcare personnel who themselves have a risk of a severe COVID-19 disease course should follow the order of priority for their risk group.

People who belong to these groups and are resident or staying temporarily in Norway can have the vaccine as part of the immunisation programme. 

Europol has issued a warning about the expected increase in counterfeit coronavirus vaccines. All use of approved coronavirus vaccines in Norway will be organised by municipalities and health trusts.

Rationale for the recommendations

  • The elderly and people with certain diseases and conditions are those who have the greatest risk of severe disease course and death.

  • Residents in nursing homes appear to be particularly vulnerable.

  • Advanced age is the dominant risk factor for severe disease course and death due to COVID-19. In old age, the incidence of the diseases that increase the risk of severe disease course and death (risk groups) also increases.

  • The risk rises sharply from the 60s and upwards, both for a severe disease course and death.

  • Vaccines will protect them from severe disease and as a result, reduce the burden on the health service and everyone who works there.

The order of priority can change depending on:

  • how much transmission there is in society

  • how much strain there is on the health care system

  • which vaccines we have access to

  • knowledge of how the individual vaccines work in different age groups and risk groups

  • knowledge of the extent to which the vaccines prevent transmission in society.

 
For further information about severe COVID-19 disease course for risk groups see:
 

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

So far, there is little experience with vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is currently not appropriate to give a general recommendation about vaccination of pregnant women. Vaccination of pregnant women who are at risk due to other illness should be considered individually by a doctor. Breastfeeding mothers who are given priority for vaccination due to another illness or occupational situation can be vaccinated.

Children in risk groups

It is very rare for children to become seriously ill with coronavirus. The vaccines that are coming to Norway first have been tested on children and young people to a small degree. We therefore do not initially recommend the vaccine to children under 18 years of age.

For those who are not in the risk groups

It may be appropriate to recommend the vaccine to a larger part of the population when we know more about the vaccines that are approved and how the pandemic develops.

After recovery from COVID-19

It is unclear to what extent people who have had COVID-19 are immune to the disease, and how long this protection lasts. This will depend on, among other things, how ill the person was. Based on the knowledge we have today, it is recommended that people who have had COVID-19 are vaccinated, as long as they are well and do not have ongoing effects of the disease when it is time for vaccination. It is recommended that the coronavirus vaccine should be given no earlier than 3-4 weeks after the symptoms are gone.

History

08.01.2021: New setup with one priority list for COVID-19 vaccination and one for medical risk groups. New definition of asthma: severe asthma that has resulted in the use of high-dose inhaled steroids or steroid tablets in the past year. New link to risk groups. Updated advice for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

05.01.2021: added sentence about people who are resident in Norway being taking the vaccine.

04.01.2021: added "selected groups of healthcare personnel to order of priority"

31.12.2020: Added section about vaccination after recovery from COVID-19

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