Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced that the country has officially excluded the drug AstraZeneca from the vaccination program due to rare but serious side effects.
This is reported by The Local.
The government also supported suspending the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine but will offer it to those who want to voluntarily get vaccinated with this particular drug.
“The government has considered whether people can take the vaccines voluntarily. The government has concluded that only the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be offered voluntarily, “ Solberg said.
The use of AstraZeneca was officially discontinued a few days after a committee of experts set up by the government decided that the vaccine should be excluded from Norway’s vaccine strategy.
Norway has suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine since March 11 due to reports of rare serious side effects, such as blood clots. Five serious cases were reported, and three people died.
Norway will transfer its AstraZeneca vaccine doses to other countries.
Solberg also announced that Norway will update its vaccination strategy, and people aged 18 to 24 will move ahead in the queue. They will now be offered the vaccine after vaccinating all people over the age of 45.
People aged 40 to 44 will be offered the vaccines at the same time as those aged 18 to 25. People between the ages of 25 and 39 will be the last group to be offered the vaccine.
Norway will also change priorities in the distribution of vaccines, with up to 60% more doses delivered to areas with consistently high infectious pressure.
The prime minister said that the new strategy will allow Norway to lift the restrictions faster. “The whole of Norway can open earlier if we do it this way,” Solberg said.