COVID-19 vaccination in Norway

Here, you can find information about who is advised to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccines that you may be offered and the side effects they can cause.

How to book an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination

To book an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination, you need to contact the municipality where you are living or staying. See the municipality's website for information on how to book an appointment.

NIPH has produced a map with links to information about COVID-19 vaccination in all municipalities.

Have you been asked to book an appointment on Helsenorge?

Some municipalities and GPs offer appointments for COVID-19 vaccination on Helsenorge.

Who should get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Everyone over the age of 18 is advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Those born in 2004 and 2005 have also previously been advised to get vaccinated. It is voluntary and free for everyone to get the vaccine.

Why is it advised to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Lower risk of serious illness

The vaccines are very effective against COVID-19 that is so severe that hospitalisation is necessary. This means that if you get COVID-19 even though you're vaccinated, the vaccine can make your illness milder.

So far, the vaccines have provided good protection against serious illness from the various mutated virus variants. This also appears to apply to the Omicron variant.

Lower risk of infection

Vaccinated people have a lower risk than unvaccinated people of becoming infected. Vaccinated people can still become infected and pass on the infection.

Protection weakens over time

The protection provided by the vaccines weakens over time, especially among the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. NIPH is therefore closely monitoring the duration of protection in different groups, and recommends booster doses to the different groups accordingly. Booster doses provide longer-lasting protection.

Vaccines and COVID-19 certificates

How many COVID-19 vaccines you have had and how long it has been since you had them will affect whether or not you have a valid COVID-19 certificate. You can read more about the rules for COVID-19 certificates here.

How many vaccine doses should I have?

Primary vaccination

The first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (doses 1 and 2) are called ‘primary vaccination’.

If you have been tested and confirmed to have had COVID-19, one vaccine dose will be sufficient to be considered to have completed primary vaccination.

For those with severely weakened immune systems, primary vaccination consists of three doses.

Time interval between dose 1 and dose 2

For the best effect, you should take the second dose 3-12 weeks after the first. If the vaccines are administered at too short an interval, you will not receive a valid COVID-19 certificate.

Recommended minimum interval between doses 1 and 2

  • BioNTech/Pfizer: 21 days
  • Moderna: 28 days
  • Combination of BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna: 28 days

No upper limit has yet been set for the interval between COVID-19 vaccines, for either children or adults.

Booster doses after primary vaccination

A ‘booster dose’ means dose 3 or the doses received after primary vaccination. A booster dose is recommended for those aged 45 years and older, anyone over the age of 18 who belongs to the risk groups and employees in the health and care services.

Healthy persons aged 18-44 who so wish may be offered a booster dose (dose 3).

The interval between dose 2 and the booster dose (dose 3) should be at least 20 weeks. If you get COVID-19 after you have had two doses of the vaccine, you should be well-protected.

Some people are being advised to get a new booster dose before the upcoming winter season (2022)

As there may be a new infection peak during the autumn/winter and the virus is constantly changing, some groups are advised to get a new booster dose. A minimum of four months should pass between the previous dose and the new booster dose.

The following groups are advised to get a new booster dose:

  • everyone aged 65 and older, including nursing home residents
  • anyone aged 18 and older who belong to the risk groups
  • anyone aged 12-17 with severe underlying health conditions
  • pregnant women in the 2nd or 3rd trimester

For most people, a new booster dose will be dose 4 of the COVID-19 vaccine, but for some people with weakened immune systems it may be dose 5. The recommendation for a new booster dose also applies if you have recently had COVID-19. A new booster dose should be given 3-4 months after recovery.

It is also possible for anyone between the ages of 18 and 64 who does not belong to a risk group to have a fourth dose, if they so wish.

Can I have a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time?

A COVID-19 vaccine can be given at the same time as the regular flu vaccine, as long as the vaccines are injected into different arms.

Nursing home residents receive a stronger variant of the flu vaccine, and should wait at least seven days between having the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine.

For other vaccines, it is recommended that these are not given at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine, and that at least one week should pass between vaccinations. Speak to your doctor if you need to have several vaccinations at once.

Read more about the flu vaccine (in Norwegian).

Different vaccine types

The following vaccines are used in the Norwegian COVID-19 vaccination programme:

  • Comirnaty (BioNTech and Pfizer)
  • Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.1 (BioNTech and Pfizer) – used as a booster dose only
  • Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.4-5 (BioNTech and Pfizer) – used as a booster dose only
  • Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron BA.1 (Moderna) – used as a booster dose only
  • Spikevax (Moderna)
  • Nuvaxovid (Novavax)

Everyone under the age of 18 is vaccinated with the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. Anyone under the age of 30 should also consider choosing the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine when getting vaccinated.

Combining different COVID-19 vaccines

You are advised to accept the vaccine you are offered.
Combining vaccines provides equally good protection and entails no greater risk of serious side effects compared with having a vaccine from the same manufacturer.

Only the name of the last type of vaccine you have received will be shown on your COVID-19 certificate.

Booster doses are given with updated versions of the COVID-19 vaccines Comirnaty and Spikevax

Regardless of whether you are having your first or second booster dose, you will be offered an updated vaccine. The purpose of updating the vaccine is to adapt it to new variants of the virus. Read more about the updated vaccines at Legemiddelverket.no (in Norwegian).

The vaccine is an updated version of the original vaccines, but targets a variant of the Omicron virus in addition to the original COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2).

The updated vaccine will probably provide better protection against infection, but the duration of this protection has not yet been determined with any certainty. Protection against serious illness will probably be good regardless of which vaccine you have.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health's clear advice is that the target groups for the booster dose should now accept the vaccine they are offered, because it is important to strengthen protection against serious illness.

What happens before, during and after vaccination?

Before vaccination, you will be asked to answer some questions about your health:

You should not go to the vaccination centre if you have cold symptoms or a fever above 38 °C on the day of vaccination. Notify the vaccination centre as soon as possible to get a new appointment.

When you get vaccinated, you should let them know:

  • about any previous dose(s) of COVID-19 vaccine you have received
  • whether you have had COVID-19 and, if so, how long ago you had it
  • if you have been vaccinated with another vaccine within the last seven days

How is the vaccine administered?

The vaccine will be administered by injection into your upper arm.

After the vaccination, you will be asked to wait at the vaccination centre for at least 20 minutes, so that you can be monitored in case you experience any reactions. Anyone who administers vaccinations will have received the training and have the necessary medications available to deal with any allergic reaction.

Exercise after the COVID-19 vaccine

If you are fit and healthy, there's no reason not to exercise.

Side effects

All vaccines have side effects, most of which are mild and temporary.

The most common side effects are:

  • pain and swelling around the injection site
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • chills
  • nausea/vomiting
  • fever
  • muscle and joint pain.

So far, the side effects of using the new updated vaccines appear to be the same as with booster vaccinations with the original vaccines.

Serious side effects of vaccines are rare. Some side effects are only detected when a vaccine is used by larger and more complex groups than those who participated in the studies before the vaccine was approved.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health closely monitor vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines and suspected side effects that are reported after vaccination.

Healthcare professionals who administer vaccines have a duty to report serious or unexpected events that they believe may be linked to vaccination.

You can report side effects yourself at Report side effects of medicines and vaccines (helsenorge.no).

The Norwegian Medicines Agency regularly publishes overviews of suspected adverse reactions (side effects), you can find the overviews here (Legemiddelverket.no, in Norwegian).

Monitoring adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines (Legemiddelverket.no, in Norwegian).

Reporting side effects

Healthcare professionals report side effects via melde.no, even when they themselves have experienced the side effect.

Patients and relatives with power of attorney can report side effects using a separate form on helsenorge.no, click here to access the side effects notification form.

It is not necessary to report less serious side effects listed in the package leaflet: Pain and swelling at the puncture site, fatigue, headache, chills, nausea/vomiting, fever, muscle and joint pain.

It is most important to report

  • new side effects not listed in the package leaflet
  • unexpected side effects
  • serious side effects
  • vaccine failure (lack of effect after the vaccine is expected to provide protection)

It is sufficient for you to suspect that the side effect is linked to the vaccine.

You can find a link to the package leaflets for the vaccines here (in Norwegian):

Video from the Norwegian Medicines Agency about side effects of COVID-19 vaccines (in Norwegian)

Video from the Norwegian Medicines Agency about side effects of COVID-19 vaccines (in Norwegian)

Read about the work on the COVID-19 vaccine

Norwegian Institute of Public Health's information on the COVID-19 vaccine (fhi.no)

Approval of the COVID-19 vaccine (legemiddelverket.no, in Norwegian)

Monitoring adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines (Legemiddelverket.no, in Norwegian)

Information hotline is closed

The information hotline for Covid-19 is now closed.

Do you have questions about corona? Use the chat in the right corner or read updated information here at Helsenorge.

If you need a covid-19 certificate, but do not have digital access, you can order your certificate by letter or telephone.

Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH)

News, statistics, information and advice from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health

The Government

Important information from the Norwegian Government on measures regarding the corona outbreak, and advice to the population

Content provided by Norwegian Institute of Public Health , The Norwegian Directorate of Health , Legemiddelverket

Last updated Friday, November 18, 2022