Norway axes vaccine

AstraZeneca jab dropped; Johnson & Johnson remains suspended


Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB
Norway has officially dropped the AstraZeneca vaccine and will donate doses to other countries.

The Local

Norway has officially axed the AstraZeneca vaccine from its coronavirus vaccination program because of its rare but serious side effects. At the same time, the government also maintained the suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The AstraZeneca vaccine was officially dropped days after an expert committee set up by the government ruled that it should be withdrawn from Norway’s vaccine strategy.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg made the announcement at a government press conference on May 12. Solberg said the decision had been taken in view of the rare but serious side effects associated with the vaccines, which both use the same adenovirus technology.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will remain suspended, but the government will offer the single dose vaccine to those who want it voluntarily.

“The government has considered whether people can take the vaccines voluntarily. The government concluded that only the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be offered voluntarily,” Solberg said.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health is now assessing how the vaccine can be offered voluntarily.

“We will ask the Norwegian Directorate of Health to investigate how this can be done.

This article originally appeared in the May 21, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Local

This article first appeared in The Local, a independent source for Norway's news in English. Visit