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Who will get the coronavirus vaccine?
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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.
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 (see 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
10. Age 18-24 years AND 40-44 years
11. Age 25-39 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. The lower age limit for the coronavirus immunisation programme is from the age of 18, but for practical purposes, the whole 2003 cohort can be offered the coronavirus vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer.
Adolescents aged 12-17 with a high risk of a severe disease course shall also be offered the vaccine.
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:
- Veiledning for videre helsepersonellvaksinering i kommuner og helseforetak (PDF) (in Norwegian)
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 personnel vaccination shall take place.
¤Adolescents 12-17 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 children and adolescents with a high risk of severe disease course. 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, after a specific recommendation from a paediatrician.
People with the following disease/ conditions are defined as medical risk groups:
- Organ transplant*
- 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 and 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
- 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
- Chronic cardiovascular disease (except high blood pressure)
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:
People with problematic substance abuse can be prioritised as a separate group, even if the individuals in the group are not individually prioritised according to the overall order of priority.
Getting the vaccine
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 age of 60 and upwards, both for a severe disease course and death.
- Young and healthy people will also benefit from the vaccine. Although most people cope well with COVID-19, there are some in this group who could also become seriously ill.
Vaccines will protect from a severe disease course 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.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
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. 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.