Sunday, January 16

Municipalities: Therefore, Norway did not meet the vaccine target

MORE CHALLENGES: There are several reasons why Norway did not meet the vaccine target, according to the counties.

This summer’s skewed distribution, staff shortages and Christmas striae put an end to the vaccine target of 700,000 doses, according to the counties themselves.


– With us, there are still no arms to stick in. The skewed distribution meant that we had to wait, while central parts of Norway were vaccinated for the younger age groups. For more here, these 20 weeks will only come now. The municipalities have done what they could, says state administrator in Troms and Finnmark, Elisabeth Aspaker.

She says it’s simple math.

– We know when we had the strongest vaccine pressure, and that was in July, August and September, she says.

– We received 30,000 doses, which was more than we could utilize. If the expectations were that we would hand them out before the turn of the year, it was not realistic. I have not heard that it is a problem that they have to be discarded, and we can use these vaccines now.

FHI SUPERVISOR: Preben Aavitsland.

NIPH on the vaccine target: – It is unlikely to work

The government and FHI have been clear that 700,000 doses had to be set in the last two weeks of 2021. It was set as a criterion for Norway to be able to reach the goal that those over 45 have been offered in mid-January.

Just under 300,000 doses were set in weeks 51 and 52, wrote vaccine manager Geir Bukholm in FHI in an e-mail to VG in early January.

– Do you think that you will reach the goal of vaccinating everyone who wants it by mid-January?

– It is unlikely to work, but we are getting closer. Not everyone wants a third dose, but the municipalities should at least be given the offer, says FHI chief physician Preben Aavitsland to VG on Saturday.

– How much did the delay at Christmas have to say for how you are doing with the vaccination now?

– There were fewer vaccinations per week in weeks 51 and 52, but the municipalities are now making a formidable effort, and people are showing up. So far this week, a total of 316,097 third doses have been set, he continues.

Aavitsland says that 94 percent (2,228,333 of 2,361,359) of those over 45 have received two vaccine doses. Of these, 63 percent (1,589,851 people) have received three doses.

– In theory, there are then 638,482 people left. Some of them have already had covid-19 and do not need a third dose, he says.

TOO FEW: This summer, the vaccines were unequally distributed to the municipalities. This is creating problems for the counties now.

According to state administrators Aspaker in Troms and Finnmark, the capacity has been higher than the number who have signed up for the vaccine in the country’s northernmost county.

– There are some who have been away and for some reason did not show up for class. There are some we have been able to start with in the group 66 down to 45, but the large number of them is not done in one-two-three.

– Not surprisingly, it did not work

Like Troms and Finnmark, Agder also points to this summer’s skewed distribution as a reason why they have not wet vaccinated as many as they would like.

– It is not surprising that it did not work, since the interval between second and third dose should be 20 weeks. This has meant that we have too few arms to put the vaccine in. This has been the main challenge. There have been no challenges with the capacity, both with the help of volunteers, and that the Armed Forces has provided assistance with us, says assistant state administrator in Agder, Knut Berg.

In contrast to the counties that have struggled with the 20-week interval between the vaccines, Oslo and Viken have felt a shortage of personnel.

– It is of course a challenge with personnel to put vaccines. At Christmas, I also had an understanding that there are some who have not attended their vaccination, without me having figures on how many there have been, says state administrator in Oslo and Viken, Valgerd Svarstad Haugland.

CHALLENGING: State administrator in Oslo and Viken, Valgerd Svarstad Haugland says it has been difficult to get vaccines with a shortage of personnel.

– There are many things that make people may want to celebrate Christmas in peace. In terms of staffing, they have several tasks with TISK and finding out new sources of infection. We have not put aside other tasks even if there are new ones.

Now that Christmas is over and a new year is underway, Svarstad Haugland hopes that more people who have previously said no to the vaccine will now say yes.

– With all the information flow around the vaccine strategy, there are several who have thought that it is actually wise to take the vaccine, and that is good. I am very happy that the municipalities are on.

With many infected in the country, there will also be infection among those who will put the vaccines. This makes staffing more critical, Svarstad Haugland continues.

Struggling to get enough to get vaccinated

On Tuesday, 38 of 41 municipalities in Vestland county reported that they have almost finished with the third dose for vulnerable groups and all over 75 years of age.

– The most difficult thing is to get everyone vaccinated. There are no hocus pocus solutions to that, and there are complex reasons for this, says the state administrator in Western Norway, Gunnar Hæreid

He also points to the skewed distribution of vaccines this summer as a challenge.

– It has not been enough time for many, says Hæreid.

His experience is that the municipalities handle the vaccination well, and that capacity is not the problem in Western Norway:

– But it is time that has passed and reaching people who are the problem. The latter is primarily a problem for those who do not want to be vaccinated. I am impressed with the municipalities and how this is handled.

County emergency manager in Vestfold and Telemark, Ingvild Aartun, says that they are doing well with the vaccination.

– We vaccinate as soon as possible based on the time horizon, but that of course presupposes that people show up. We have seen a somewhat slower pace of attendance at Christmas in that people have been away or have not shown up, but it is picking up a lot now after Christmas, says Aartun.

Not long enough

In Trøndelag, the vaccine interval of 20 weeks has also been a challenge.

– It is not possible for us to vaccinate everyone over the age of 45 because we follow the interval of 20 weeks, and it has not been 20 weeks yet, says state administrator in Trøndelag, Marit Kverkild.

The county is now in the process of full vaccination. During Christmas in space, there were some who had a break, which was planned by the municipality.

– Christmas in space was a breath of fresh air.

HELP: The Armed Forces assisted with vaccinations in several municipalities before Christmas.

Before Christmas, the Armed Forces was used to assist with the vaccination. The government also wanted health students to sign up and contribute with vaccinations at Christmas.

This came too late, Kverkild believes.

– Our municipalities start with full vaccination from 3 January. Now there is full vaccination.

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