EXPLAINED: How to get the flu vaccine in Norway 

Here's how you can get the flu-jab in Norway. Pictured is a doctor preparing an injection,
Here's how you can get the flu-jab in Norway. Pictured is a doctor preparing an injection,Photo by Sam Moqadam on Unsplash
Flu season is upon us, but who is eligible for a influenza jab? Where can you get one in Norway, and what does it cost? 

A bout of flu is never nice, and in some cases, you can get seriously ill, with some risk groups more prone to severe illness than the rest of the population. Influenza can lead to severe pneumonia, among other things, and also exacerbate any existing conditions one might have. 

In Norway, nearly 1.6 million people are advised to get a flu jab this year, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. But, so far, only four out of ten of those in risk groups have received the shot. 

Seasonal flu vaccines in Norway contain four types of flu virus; two A strains (one of the H1N1 subtype and one of the H3N2 subtype) and two B strains (Victoria and Yamagata). 

Municipalities began receiving shipments of flu jabs in mid-October, with the rollout in most places beginning shortly after. 

Who is recommended to get a jab? 

Everyone over the age of 65 is recommended to get a flu jab annually, as well as care home residents, women who are more than 12 weeks pregnant (or those in the first trimester that belong to a risk group), and premature babies born before week 32 of pregnancy aged between 6 months to 5 years. 

In addition to this, children and adults are advised to get a flu jab if they have chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, liver and renal failure, an impaired immune system, a neuromuscular disease that affects breathing, multiple disabilities, or if they are severely obese.

If you think you may have a health condition that means you are more at risk, you can ask to be assessed by your doctor. 

The seasonal influenza jab is also recommended for those working in health, pig farming, and those living with or in close contact with immunosuppressed people. 

Everyone else who wants to receive a flu vaccine will need to pay (more on that below). You can read more on who can get a flu jab on the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s website here

Where to get one

Municipalities handle the rollout process, so how, where, and who you get your vaccine from will depend on your local authority. 

To find out where you can get the vaccine in your area, you should check with your local authority or GP’s office. 

If you belong to a risk group, your local GP or the municipal flu vaccine service should contact you. If you are in a risk group or eligible and haven’t heard from the authorities regarding your flu jab its best to get in touch with them. 

You can also book an appointment for a flu jab at a pharmacy. However, as this is not included in Norway’s flu vaccination program so will come with additional costs. 

How much does it cost?

This year the flu vaccine is free for everyone who belongs to a risk group or for employees who are obliged to be offered a flu vaccine by their employer. 

This means health workers and other personnel in the health and care sector who have regular contact with patients can get jabbed for free. 

For those getting vaccinated at a GP, there will be a deductible of 50 kroner for the service. For those who have a free card, the vaccine will be free. Free cards are issued to those who pay the maximum annual amount of yearly deductibles. 

READ ALSO: How Norway’s health insurance scheme works and the common problems foreigners face

Vaccines taken as part of an offer from the municipality are completely free. 

The cost will be considerably more for those who opt to take a flu vaccine at a pharmacy. This is because the pharmacy will charge for the vaccine and also the vaccination service. This also applies to those in target and risk groups. 

The price of a vaccine at pharmacies will vary due to differing prices for the jab and services, but as an example, a vaccine from Apotek 1 costs 399 kroner.

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