Monday, May 23

Vaccine researcher in online meeting: “With vaccine plus infection, you have a better starting point for the future”

Who should take the booster dose? And how dangerous is it really to be infected by the omicron variant? Vaccine researcher Gunnveig Grødeland has answered Aftenposten readers’ questions.

Vaccine researcher Gunnveig Grødeland in an online meeting with Aftenposten’s readers.

Should healthy children under 12 take the coronary vaccine? What about dose three for those under 45?

Grødeland is surprised at how many people under the age of 45 have taken a dose of wood. And she wonders if many parents will perceive the offer to children as a recommendation.

On Thursday, the vaccine researcher was present in Aftenposten’s editorial office. She answered many questions from readers. Here are some of the answers that were given:

About vaccines for children

Questions: What is the risk of healthy children (5-11 year olds) being vaccinated? It has been emphasized that very few people become seriously ill from covid, and that not enough is known about the side effects / long-term effects of the vaccine. Will not the advantages for the individual outweigh the disadvantages?

Grødeland: The greatest risk is heart or pericarditis. This is not deadly, but dramatic enough for those who go through it. Otherwise, the vaccines will in some cases be able to cause mild side effects that typically go away after a few days (eg pain at the injection site, fever, etc.). I still believe that vaccination for most children is unnecessary, because children rarely get any particular disease at all when they become infected. Infection also provides better protection against various variants than the vaccine, because the vaccine is specifically developed against the original virus from Wuhan. Infection provides responses that will protect some against all variants of sars-cov-2.

About vaccine and pregnancy

Questions: I am pregnant (2nd trimester). I work as a teacher and there is a lot of infection in the class. I have two doses of vaccine, and will soon be taking a third dose. Is it the case that there is no significant high risk of serious consequences for either me or the fetus if I become infected? Can you get vaccinated throughout your pregnancy or does it depend on which trimester you are in?

Grødeland: If you are healthy, you basically have a low probability of serious illness after two doses of vaccine. There are slightly more hospitalizations among pregnant women than others, but this is typically because the physical changes associated with pregnancy make you more short of breath, etc. in the first place. The third dose may provide some increased protection against mild illness for a few months, but I had talked to my GP about taking the third dose and the time for this.

About young adults

Questions: I’m 19 years old. Should I take dose 3?

Grødeland: If you are otherwise healthy, no.

Questions: Many under 45 want to travel abroad. Should they take vaccine number three for that reason?

Grødeland: It is a choice you should make. I think the first question is when one intends to travel abroad. If it is the summer, you can wait a while to see if the EU eventually also supports the same recommendations for vaccination as NIPH.

About infection and protection

Questions: The National Institute of Public Health writes that it is better to be infected when you have a fresh 3rd dose than later. Should you actively seek out infection when you have recently received your 3rd dose?

Grødeland: I would not have actively sought out infection because even mild illness (which you can get no matter how many doses you have) can be associated with some discomfort. That said, infection will actually improve your future protection against new variants of sars-cov-2, so with vaccine plus infection you have a better starting point for the future.

About the duration of the vaccine

Questions: How long does the booster dose last and will it be a fourth dose for the risk groups?

Grødeland: Based on what we know today, I estimate that the effect of the third dose will last 3-4 months. I expect that the elderly and risk groups in the future will be offered a vaccine annually to provide good protection during the winter months.

For the most vulnerable risk groups with suppressed immune systems, some of these have already been offered a fourth dose. It is important for these.

Questions: How well protected are you with just two vaccinations?

Grødeland: If you are a healthy adult, you are well protected against serious illness after two vaccinations. If you are elderly or in a risk group, it will be important with the third dose to ensure a good effect also against serious illness. The third dose also provides increased protection against mild disease, but the vaccines we use now do not protect much against infection.

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