Vaccination in Norway

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All children living in Norway are offered vaccines through the children's vaccination programme. The recommended programme for children and adolescents includes vaccines against twelve different diseases; Rotavirus, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough, Poliomyelitis, infection with Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), Hepatitis B, Pneumococcal disease, Measles, Mumps, Rubella (German measles), and Human papillomavirus (HPV). Children in defined risk groups are also offered the vaccine against tuberculosis in infancy. Both doses of vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio are recommended for adults every 10 years. All these diseases can cause life-threatening illnesses or result in severe complications.

Vaccination usually begins when a child is six weeks old. Since several of the diseases affect younger children the hardest, delays should be avoided. Booster doses are given when the child has reached school age. The rotavirus vaccine is given orally, while the other vaccines are given by injection. Mercury is not used as a preservative in any of the vaccines in the Childhood Immunisation Programme. Vaccination in Norway is not compulsory.

Jacqueline Tollaksen