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Norway to end the majority of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions, giving credit to mass vaccination
Fredrik Solstad/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Norway to end the majority of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions, giving credit to mass vaccination

Norway is lifting almost all of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions despite the ongoing spread of the Omicron variant within the country.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said, "This is the day we have been waiting for. We are removing almost all coronavirus measures."

The Prime Minister acknowledged that his constituents were well protected from COVID-19 due to the country's high rate of vaccination and the low number of Omicron-related hospitalizations, per the Associated Press.

According to USA Today, 86% of Norwegian adults have received two COVID-19 vaccinations.

Norwegians no longer have to wear masks in public spaces or adhere to one-meter (3-feet) social distancing requirements. They also no longer are required to self-isolate should they be exposed to COVID-19.

Last December, Norway partially reimplemented COVID-19 lockdown protocols to try and limit the spread of the Omicron variant.

In July of 2021, Norway began to ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions but delayed the final phase of reopening its economy to try and slow the growth of the Delta variant. Norway continued to limit service in bars and restaurants, the size of private gatherings, and continued restrictions on sporting event crowd sizes.

Despite the Norwegian Prime Minister's insistence that his country's high rate of vaccination is to credit for ending the nation's lockdown policies, data from Norway's neighboring country, Sweden, indicates that herd immunity from exposure to COVID-19 would have been more effective at preventing severe sickness and protecting people from COVID's menagerie of variants.

Sweden, unlike most European countries, did not experience a "wave" of Delta cases. Other Scandinavian countries like Norway and Iceland suffered an onslaught of Delta variant cases.

The working theory is that the Swedish approach to COVID-19 — while protecting those most vulnerable to COVID-19 — enabled the Swedes to achieve an enhanced level of herd immunity through natural exposure that provides better protection from both classic COVID-19 and any variant to date.

Sweden prioritizing largescale natural immunity enabled the country to avoid economic shutdowns and save many lives.

Eventually, the country rolled out a vaccination initiative in order to shore up its population's immunity to COVID-19, but Swedish leadership did not expect their people to stay locked inside for prolonged periods only to receive mediocre immunity from a vaccine.

In recent months, a Norwegian study suggested that some women experienced disruptions to their menstrual cycles after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

However, the European Medicines Agency said that it had not yet established a link between changes in a woman's menstrual cycle and COVID-19 vaccines.

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