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Vaccination coverage for 2017 and 2018:

Continued high uptake for the Childhood Immunisation Programme in Norway

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Most children and adolescents receive the recommended vaccines in the Childhood Immunisation Programme, according to coverage statistics for 2017 and 2018.

Rub Hainer / Shutterstock.com
Rub Hainer / Shutterstock.com

Most children and adolescents receive the recommended vaccines in the Childhood Immunisation Programme, according to coverage statistics for 2017 and 2018.


Norway is among the countries with the highest proportion of vaccinated children and uptake has remained high in recent years.

“The vast majority of children and adolescents in Norway receive the vaccines recommended through the Childhood Immunisation Programme. We believe that the considerable efforts by public health nurses in each municipality are behind the high coverage,” says Evy Dvergsdal, Senior Adviser at the Norwegian Immunisation Registry SYSVAK.

Coverage is high for all six cohorts included in this year's statistics. The first dose of measles, mumps and rubella vaccines (MMR vaccine) is usually given at 15 months. Figures from the immunisation registry show that 96 per cent of the children received the first dose by 2-years-old.

 “Several European countries have an increasing incidence of measles. The high vaccination coverage in Norway means that there is little risk of measles outbreaks even though we see sporadic cases here,” says Øystein Riise, Senior Medical Officer at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

First coverage statistics for vaccine against rotavirus infection

The rotavirus vaccine has been offered to all children born after 1st September 2014. The first dose is given at 6 weeks and no later than 12 weeks. The second dose is given at 3 months and no later than 16 weeks.

This is the first time the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has published coverage statistics for rotavirus vaccine for 2-year-olds. Nationally, 93 per cent of infants are vaccinated. For some municipalities, the coverage is lower than the national average. This is mainly because babies born over the upper age limit of 16 weeks are not offered the vaccine.

Challenges for vaccination coverage

The annual vaccination coverage statistics are minimum figures. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health continuously checks the quality of the figures through close dialogue with the municipalities and public health clinics. The main reason why children appear as unvaccinated is due to issues with registration in SYSVAK, particularly electronic transmission of vaccine notifications from the municipalities to SYSVAK. Another reason is a lack of post-registration of vaccines given abroad. High mobility in the population means that the Population Registry is not always up to date, which can in turn affect the calculation of the vaccination coverage.

“Vaccine scepticism is only responsible for a small part of the unvaccinated group. Technical problems, outdated population registry data and lack of post-registration are the main reasons why children appear as unvaccinated in SYSVAK. There are also some children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons,” concludes Evy Dvergsdal.

Coverage statistics 2018

Here is a summary of the vaccination coverage statistics at the national level.

 

Diphtheria

Measles

HPV infection (girls)

2-year-olds

96 %

96 %

 

9-year-olds

95 %

97 %

 

16-year-olds

93 %

93 %

88 %

 

About the coverage statistics

  • The Norwegian Immunisation Registry SYSVAK receives notifications of all vaccines given in the Childhood Immunisation Programme from public health clinics, on an individual level. Coverage statistics show the proportion of children who are vaccinated according to the recommendations in the programme.
  • Vaccination coverage is published at the national level and county level for the ages of 2, 9 and 16. Municipal statistics are available in the Kommunehelsa statistics bank.