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NORWAY TERROR ATTACKS

NORWAY

Sweden honours Norwegian terror victims

As the full extent of Friday's horror in neighbouring country Norway slowly starts to sink in, people and organisations all over Sweden are getting together in a number of ways to honour victims.

Sweden honours Norwegian terror victims

Youth football tournament Gothia Cup in Gothenburg was among those who wanted to show their respect, and the victims of yesterday’s terror attacks were honoured with a silent minute during Saturday’s final for 17 year-old boys.

Both the crowded stands and the teams on the field, Brommapojkarna and Gais, fell silent.

“It suddenly feels as though everything else is meaningless. What could really matter anymore?” writes Gothia Cup’s secretary general Dennis Andersson on the tournament’s website.

“Our thoughts are constantly with victims and their families.”

Social democratic leader Håkan Juholt has also released a statement condemning Friday’s bombing and shooting, in which 91 people have been confirmed dead thus far, with the death toll expected to rise further.

“I was shocked and appalled to hear the reports from Oslo and Utøya. Once again we have experienced the shock of a bombing that strikes innocent people. This is an attack upon our democratic and open society, an attack which causes disgust and must be condemned,” he said.

In Stockholm, a candle-lit vigil is planned to take place at 6 pm, outside the Norwegian embassy.

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NORWAY

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

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