If the municipalities continue at the same vaccine pace, not all elderly people over the age of 65 will receive their booster dose before Christmas. – We are cooling off, says the city council leader in Oslo.
– It still does not go fast enough. If they are to be able to provide services to everyone in the age group 65 and older before Christmas, they must increase the pace to get those who have received their dose no. 2 vaccinated 5 months ago, says vaccine manager Geir Bukholm to VG.
So far, around 300,000 out of 900,000 have received.
To ensure that the elderly are refreshed with enough antibodies before Christmas Eve, FHI chose to send out even more vaccines than the municipalities requested:
– It was to be sure that there are enough vaccines out in the municipality to get everyone vaccinated before Christmas. We saw that the number of vaccines ordered was declining after week 47. This did not match the overview of how many people should have the vaccine.
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The reason why it is slow varies a bit. Some municipalities say they do not have enough elderly people, it has taken a long enough time, and others say they do not have the capacity to set the extra doses FHI sent out.
This worries the department, which believes that this work should be a priority in the municipalities now.
– For the elderly, it seems that the protection against serious illness is falling. We see that there are more fully vaccinated who are admitted to the older age group. This is probably due to both increased infection in society combined with the fact that it has been a long time since the oldest received the vaccine and a reduced vaccine effect due to it, says Bukholm.
Oslo: Could vaccinate everyone by next week
However, the city council leader in Oslo municipality, Raymond Johansen (Labor Party), does not share FHI’s concern regarding the vaccine rate.
When asked if Oslo has the capacity to set all the booster doses they receive, Johansen answers with a clear and resounding “yes”.
– We’re cooling off. Everyone should have received an offer by next week, he says to VG.
The goal of the municipality is that everyone over the age of 65 should receive the booster dose before Christmas, but Johansen both believes and hopes that it is possible to finish before this.
– If everyone had said yes right away, we could have finished next week. There is a drop-in at all vaccination stations for those over 65, points out the city council leader, who at the same time acknowledges that for some it requires a bit of logistics before one can say yes to a vaccination class.
– Nice to have something to go on
– How are you doing with the third booster dose for this age group now?
– Very good. More than half of those over 65 have received, and almost everyone who lives in nursing homes and nursing homes has received, the city council leader answers.
– What do you think about the fact that some municipalities have to say no to the extra doses FHI has sent?
– NIPH announced that they would send out more doses than the municipality has requested, because they calculated based on everyone over 65 to be vaccinated with a booster before Christmas. If saying no indicates that you do not have ambitions to get these vaccinated by then, I think it sounds strange.
The medical director in the municipality, Bjørn Sletvold, points out that it can be an advantage for the municipality that FHI has sent extra doses:
– We know that there are more under 65 who will also receive a booster dose, and then it is good to have a little to go on so we can plan for it. That work is ongoing, but we have not received the guidelines for it.