Norway’s state health institute FHI is warning of a rough flu season ahead, after more than 12,000 people had to be hospitalized because of flu or variants of the Corona virus last year. They’re also worried that fewer Norwegians are getting vaccinated.
FHI (Folkehelseinstitutt) reports that the vaccination rate for those most at risk of serious complications from flu has fallen from 63- to 59 percent. Only 50 percent of health care personnel have been vaccinated, down from 56 percent.
FHI warns, however, that after several years of mild flu seasons, the virus returned at full strength last year. Immunity rates fell during the Corona shutdowns and FHI predicts a “powerful” flu season this year. “We see that the flu virus has changed, and there’s a strong possibility that the (particularly contagious) H3N2 strain will return,” said Trygve Ottersen, director of infectious disease at FHI.
Everyone over age 65 is urged to get flu shots, along with residents of nursing homes, women pregnant in the second and third trimester and those with chronic illnesses. They’re also urged to get booster shots against the Corona virus.