Today I finally got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, which was unexpected as Norway has been extremely slow to vaccinate so far. Being a country with a small population and not so many cases of Covid since the beginning of the pandemic (134,000 to this day, with less than 800 deadly cases), vaccination wasn’t as top priority as in other countries like the US, China, France or Italy. But reopening the country has become more and more urgent as the services industry has been impacted both by the lack of tourists and migrant workers. The country has been closed to non-residents for almost a year, and put up a lot of traveling restrictions that are starting to be lifted. So after having fully vaccinated the oldest and most vulnerable members of the country, the priority has been put on giving at least one dose to every adult and postponing the second dose appointment to the limit.
The process itself is pretty smooth. If you’re registered in the municipality as a resident, you get a text asking you to connect to your health administration page where you register to get an appointment. Shortly after you receive a text telling you the day and time of the event, and you can call the « covid helpline » to change it if it is not convenient. You come with the text and your ID to a center where you stand in line (with a mask, duh) until you can get processed inside.
Once in, you are directed to a line of chairs where people wait for their turn. Someone comes to confirm your identity, comes back quickly to give you the dose, then you have to wait for 15 minutes until you’re sure you’re okay. There are some fainters, so it’s a fair requirement! The whole process is easy and pretty fast, but gosh my arm hurts now.
I was particularly relieved to start the vaccination process as I’ve not been outside of Norway for the past year and a half, and haven’t seen my family in France in almost two years. Being vaccinated means, of course, being protected and also less of a risk to the rest of society, but mostly being able to see my family again, and that is worth every needle in the world.