Half a million over the age of 45 lack dose three. In addition, it does not protect very well against infection. Now the vaccination program against the corona is coming to an end.
Since the New Year, there has been a high pace of vaccination with dose three in Norway. In the last week, however, things have been slow.
The best we can use the vaccines for now are first doses of unvaccinated and third doses of those over 45 years.
Adolescents and young adults with two doses do well without dose three. NIPH has not recommended this group of vaccines, but has allowed them to “be” vaccinated.
Nevertheless, since the New Year, 45 per cent of all third doses have been used to vaccinate people between the ages of 18 and 44.
So, how are we doing now?
More and more unvaccinated people have changed their minds and chosen to be vaccinated this winter. In addition, most people over the age of 45 have received a dose of three.
But the vaccination is not quite over yet. Now the municipalities are struggling to find enough arms to put the vaccines in.
After the vaccine pace has gradually increased since November, but with a brake during the Christmas holidays, things are now much slower.
There are still over 500,000 over the age of 45 who have not taken dose three.
Why is it slow?
The municipalities lack people to vaccinate. Many have not gone long enough before they can get a dose of wood. Some do not show up for class. Some are skeptical about taking dose three.
That is the conclusion of the country’s state administrators. They said this in a meeting with the health authorities and a number of other agencies over the New Year. There was the slow vaccine pace theme.
Have too many young people received an “unnecessary” 3rd dose?
The National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) has not recommended that everyone under the age of 45 should take dose three. But they “can” take it.
The argument has been that it provides better protection against becoming infected.
– Then you will help reduce the spread of infection in society, said director Camilla Stoltenberg before Christmas.
Vaccine researcher Gunnveig Grødeland believes it is completely unnecessary for young people.
So far, 603,000 between the ages of 18 and 44 have taken dose three. 427,000 of them have done so in the last three weeks.
Those over 45, on the other hand, should take dose three, the authorities believe.
The reason is that dose two protects less against serious illness over time. The young tolerate omikron well with two doses.
How much does dose three help against infection?
“Not much and not for long”, FHI insists advice to the government.
Therefore, the most important thing now is to vaccinate as many people as possible with dose one and the elderly with dose three.
“If more unvaccinated people do not choose to be vaccinated fairly quickly, the vaccination program cannot have a much greater effect on the expected disease burden,” FHI states in a recent report.
– The protection is increasing, but it seems that it is on its way down again 1-2 months after vaccination, says chief physician Sara Viksmoen Watle in FHI.
How much less effective are the omicron vaccines?
This is one of the major uncertainties now. New FHI figures confirm that the vaccines have provided very good protection against serious illness. Unvaccinated people have been severely overrepresented.
At the same time, the experiences from 91,000 people who were infected with delta or omikron between 6 December and 9 January show that omikron gives a much lower risk of hospitalization.
However, if we look at the different vaccine groups, the risk of hospitalization currently seems to decrease the most for two groups: those with three doses and those unvaccinated.
“The reduction in the risk of admission with omicron compared with delta was lower for those who were fully vaccinated 7–179 days before the positive test, compared with unvaccinated,” writes FHI.
Why does not vaccination have more effect?
We are nearing the end of the vaccination program. The vast majority have been offered both the first, second and third dose.
Most people who want the vaccine have already taken it.
Most people who have not agreed to dose three are in any case well protected against becoming seriously ill. Thus, it has little to offer, since the effect of preventing infection is limited.
You can be infected both asymptomatically and symptomatically. Symptomatic means that you get symptoms when you are infected. Asymptomatic means that you are infected without symptoms.
Even those who are asymptomatically infected can continue to be infected.