Tuesday, January 25

In short, Friday, December 31st

We collect the newspaper’s short articles in the column «In short». Here is today’s post.

Third dose of vaccine. Noisy Oslo traffic. This is today’s card post!

This is a debate post. Opinions in the text are at the writer’s expense.

Third dose at home or vaccinate the world?

Increased vaccine production capacity will solve the dilemma between setting a third dose in Norway and vaccinating the world, Aftenposten claims on 2 December. But this claim is currently too gullible and based on unreliable estimates.

According to Aftenposten, rich countries will have 1.2 billion doses in stock by New Year, half of which will be donated. The estimates are produced by a commercial analysis company, Airfinity, based on several variables, including the pharmaceutical industry’s own forecasts, which are impossible to verify. The expectation that increased production capacity will equalize access to vaccines globally is in any case based on a number of uncertain assumptions.

It is very unlikely that half of future vaccines will be shared. According to figures from UNICEF, rich countries have delivered only 356 million donated doses through the global vaccine collaboration COVAX, around a quarter of the 1.3 billion doses they promised to donate. The donations are stepped up during the day, but large deliveries of vaccines with a short expiration date make it difficult for the recipient countries to distribute them.

The pharmaceutical industry’s secrecy and strict contract terms have for a long time made it difficult to divide doses and have created great uncertainty and many delays in deliveries to the global vaccine collaboration Covax.

WHO has warned that if rich countries again stock up on vaccines to deal with the omicron variant, the skewed distribution of vaccines in the world will worsen.

Aftenposten justifies the use of booster doses at home on a highly uncertain factual basis. It is still an unpleasant truth that it is not possible to get in the bag and sack in the global vaccine race.

Antoine de Bengy Puyvallée, PhD candidate, Center for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo

Katerini Storeng, Associate Professor, Center for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo

A defiant Public Roads Administration

In a debate post in Aftenposten on 21 December, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, by Fred Anton Mykland, addresses the wishes for measures to reduce traffic noise along Trondheimsveien in Oslo. Mykland points out that heavy transport must be handled. But to say that this traffic must be reduced before measures can be taken on the road is to turn the matter upside down.

Reduced road capacity will lead to reduced traffic. The adjacent local roads have significantly lower speed limits, as well as traffic lights and speed bumps that will dampen a possible relocation of traffic there.

A nearly unanimous city council wants to lower the speed limit. Now, the Storting has also, on SV’s initiative, decided that the Public Roads Administration will “implement measures and regulations in dialogue with the City of Oslo that can reduce the local noise and pollution load for residents along RV4”.

To state that neither reduced speed, speed cameras nor noise shielding can be carried out before the traffic is reduced is a startlingly defiant attitude. The thousands who live with unhealthy noise levels along the road will be harmed. The Storting has made its decisions, and the government must ensure that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration does not refuse orders.

Ola Wolff Elvevold, group leader, Oslo SV


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