In Norway, a total of 450 fully vaccinated people have been diagnosed with coronavirus, the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) has reported. Among fully vaccinated Norwegians, 26 have been hospitalised with COVID-19, whereas another 19 have died. According to Assistant Health Director Espen Rostrup Nakstad, this proves that the vast majority is well-protected against serious illness.
According to FHI chief physician Sara Viksmoen Watle, the 450 infected individuals make up 0.03 percent of those fully vaccinated. “The incidence of such breakthrough infections among the fully vaccinated is very low”, Watle told national broadcaster NRK. Yet, Watle and Assistant Health Director Espen Rostrup Nakstad emphasised that the vaccines don’t provide 100-percent protection against the infection. “This figure confirms that the vaccines’ effect against COVID-19 is not 100 percent. We know that about one in ten vaccinated will be able to test positive after virus exposure. Fortunately, few of them get a serious illness since most people, after all, have a fairly good effect of the vaccine,” Nakstad told NRK.
Among the 450 diagnosed with COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated, 26 have been admitted to hospital. Of them, 21 belong to risk groups with a high to moderate risk of a serious course of COVID-19, with most being aged 75 and over. “This is due to the fact that the immune response after vaccination is weakest among the oldest. Therefore, it is more likely that older people can become infected after vaccination”, Nakstad said.
Of the 19 COVID-related deaths, 15 belong to medical risk groups, and all but two cases were over 80 years old. “The findings agree with what we have seen during vaccine tests and the monitoring data from other countries. The COVID-19 vaccines provide a high degree of protection”, Watle stressed.
“The figures confirm that among the few vaccinated who become infected, the vast majority are well protected against serious illness. At the same time, these figures remind us that some fully vaccinated people may also become seriously ill and die when the virus spreads in society that has not yet achieved herd immunity,” Nakstad concluded.
Norway has seen a total of 132,000 COVID-19 cases, with 794 deaths. So far, it has managed to vaccinate 29.1 percent of its population of 5.3 million.