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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.


Vaccination scenario

When do we expect to be able to vaccinate different groups against covid-19?

The figures are uncertain and the scenario provides a preliminary picture based on the information we have now. The calendar is based on the expected delivery and distribution of vaccines from Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca. The vaccination scenario shows a simplified national average where we assume that recommended priorities are followed closely and that the municipalities vaccinate at the same rate. It has not yet been decided how the coronavirus vaccine will be offered to healthy people aged 18-44.

Order of priority for risk groups: 

1. Residents in nursing homes 

2. Age 85 years and above 

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 (marked with * in the list of risk groups 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 considers these age divisions to be based on age cohorts (årskull). This means that people born in the same calendar year will be offered a vaccine at the same time, based on their age at the end of the year.

Prioritisation of healthcare personnel in parallel with the risk groups:

Selected groups of healthcare personnel in the primary healthcare service will be vaccinated in parallel with the various priority categories of risk groups. Selection of health personnel is made according to the same criteria that were defined in January 2021:

The recommendation may change based on knowledge of the individual approved vaccine's safety and efficacy as well as the status of the infection situation in the country. The municipalities will be given information in the information letters from NIPH about how healthcare personell vaccination shall take place.

¤Adolescents 16-17 years
For children and adolescents, the risk of severe COVID-19 is low, even with chronic underlying diseases. It is still possible for vaccination of adolescents with a high risk of severe disease course. These can then be offered the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for use from the age of 16 years. Adolescents with severe and complex neurological diseases or congenital syndromes, but also diseases marked with * in the list below. Other conditions with a particularly high risk can be assessed individually, according to the Norwegian Paediatric Association's list.

Risk groups

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, cerebral palsy, 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 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. 

For more detailed information about diseases/conditions that can give an increased risk for a severe COVID-19 disease course see: 

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.

For those who are not in the risk groups

It has not yet been decided how the coronavirus vaccine will be offered to healthy people aged 18-44 years outside the prioritised groups.

After recovery from COVID-19

It is not yet clear how long the immunity from having had COVID-19 lasts.

Therefore, it is recommended that people who have had COVID-19 and who are in the priority groups should also be vaccinated - as long as they feel well and do not have lasting effects from the disease at the time of vaccination. However, people who have had COVID-19 only need one dose of vaccine. It is recommended that the vaccine be given no earlier than 3 months after recovery from COVID-19.

If you have had COVID-19 and are called in for vaccination, inform the vaccination centre so they can take this into account for their planning.

History

3/19/2021: Removed cystic fibrosis as example under chronic lung diseases

12.03.2021: Added vaccination scenario in English

10.03.2021: Added cerebral palsy to list of neurological or musculoskeletal diseases. Updated section about recovery from COVID-19

09.03.2021: Added sentence about age cohorts, that everyone born in the same year will be vaccinated at the same time.

01.03.2021: Updates to section about prioritisation of healthcare personnel.

18.02.2021: Ungdom 16-18 - added referral to risk group list. Updated priority list - updated paragraph about prioritisation of healthcare personnel.

15.02.2021: Added sentence: "It has not yet been decided how the coronavirus vaccine will be offered to healthy people aged 18-44 years outside the prioritised groups."

04.02.2021: Removed paragraph about children in risk groups. Emphasised that two groups (65-74 years and people 18-64 years with condition marked with *) in point 4 shall be offered the vaccine at the same time. New text about 16-17 year-olds with severe and complex diseases and congenital syndromes with high risk can be considered for vaccination. Link to risk groups.

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