Norway is to provide a vaccine against COVID-19 free of charge to its inhabitants when one becomes available and this would become part of the country’s national vaccination program, the government said on Tuesday.
Norway, which is part of the European single market, but is not a member of the EU, in August said that it would get access to the vaccines that the EU obtains via deals negotiated with pharmaceuticals companies.
“We want as many people as possible to get the offer of receiving a safe and effective vaccine. This is why vaccination will be free of charge,” Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement.
Sweden, an EU member, would buy more of the vaccines than it needs and then sell them on to Norway.
“The EU has so far entered into agreements with three different vaccine manufacturers and is negotiating agreements with several other manufacturers. Norway is covered by these agreements through resale agreements with Sweden,” the government said.
Authorities are concerned with the situation in Oslo, where restrictions such as compulsory wearing of masks on public transport when social distancing cannot be maintained, were extended on Tuesday for an indefinite period.
Norway is also part of COVAX, the global scheme for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines backed by the WHO.
The program aims to offer equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for rich and poor countries alike.
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