IMPORTANT NOTE: This information provides a snapshot of the European situation in September 2023. Please note that for more specific and up-to-date information on a single country, it is advisable to contact the local organisations.
In Norway, vaccination is not mandatory and we do not expect it to become compulsory in the near future. This assessment is based on the fact that the Norwegian population still seems aware of the importance of personal freedom and individual rights. This assessment is also valid despite the fact that the largest Norwegian political party (the Labor Party - Det Norske Arbeiderparti) in 2015 decided to introduce compulsory vaccination in case of victory in the next elections. However, the trend is to introduce even more vaccines in Norway.
New vaccines are introduced into the childhood vaccination schedule, and national health authorities are lobbying for greater compliance. Emphasis is placed on the vaccination program for children, but there is now also a push towards more frequent vaccination of adults, health workers, the elderly and people with chronic diseases. Pro-vaccine propaganda is constantly repeated by journalists and other groups in the mass media and social media. We also see frequent censorship of comments from people who question vaccines. Few dare to speak critically about vaccines. Medical staff are silenced and told not to express doubts about the vaccines. If they do, they may be threatened with losing their job. There is great pressure on parents to adhere to the childhood vaccination schedule. To further intensify the pro-vaccine pressure, some parents are forced to sign a disclaimer when they decide not to vaccinate their children.
Adherence to the childhood vaccination program is approximately 90% of children. Adult vaccination rates are very low, because so far the focus has been on children. In recent years we have witnessed strong promotion of the flu vaccine, with particular attention to healthcare personnel and the so-called "vulnerable groups": elderly people (over 65 years), pregnant women after the 12th week, patients with diabetes, people with poor lung, heart, kidney or liver function, neurological diseases, BMI over 40 and people with immunodeficiency.
Every year a campaign to promote the flu vaccine is organized in all media and in doctors' offices. Our health authority wants healthcare workers to have a 75% flu vaccination rate, but the reality is that only about 5-10% of healthcare workers accept this vaccine.
Laboratory workers and soldiers are also required to undergo vaccines such as typhoid and others, but they are not mandatory for everyone and may also depend on the specific terms of the signed contract. Students who spend part of their training in hospitals (nurses, psychology students, etc.) are also required to have the hepatitis B vaccination.
In Flanders, some courts have started sentencing defendants, but without any subsequent fines or police records. One court even adopted the policy of offering the payment of a small fine (€150,00) instead of a trial, without further proceedings.
In Norway there are no restrictions for unvaccinated children in nursery and kindergarten. They are also admitted to any school level and any exam.
Home teaching is regulated by the Education Law and, in this context, some sections are of particular importance, such as § 1-1, which deals with the objectives of education and training, § 1-3 on adapted instruction and § 2-1, which states that instruction may be "otherwise."
Education "otherwise" occurs in private schools or at home. Families may begin home schooling after notifying local school authorities of their intention to do so, and local school authorities are required by law to evaluate home schooling once per semester (§ 2-3, § 2- 4). However, home schooling is not particularly popular in Norway. Some parents choose homeschooling in principle, but more often than not it seems to be a pragmatic solution to challenges such as illness and dissatisfaction. Some also choose homeschooling for longer stays abroad.
For more information visit the websiteHSLDA.
For more information visit the websiteEcdc.
Recognition and compensation for vaccine injuries
Reporting can be made by patients or healthcare professionals. Adverse events of vaccines must be reported to Folkehelseinstituttet Folkehelseinstituttet (FHI). The FHI is a healthcare institution that is partly responsible for evaluating the adverse effects of vaccines, while at the same time buying, selling and promoting the vaccines themselves, and has a central and influential role in every policy decision regarding vaccines. This conflict of interest is rarely addressed by the media or other agencies. Norwegian support for vaccines globally: Norway has signed the International Health Regulations (IHR) with the WHO, an international legal instrument binding 196 countries around the world. This means that we are obliged to follow the regulatory measures dictated by the WHO http://www.who.int/topics/international_health_regulations/en/. The FHI (Folkehelseinstituttet) has a close collaborative relationship with the WHO in several projects. The FHI is equivalent to the CDC in the United States and was founded in 1929, with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Since 2002, General Manager Camilla Stoltenberg has held various positions as director of different divisions. In 2012 you became General Director. His younger brother Jens Stoltenberg was director of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) from 2002 to 2005. He was also one of the driving forces behind the GAVI initiative and underlined its importance. In 2005 he became Prime Minister of Norway for the second time and is now Secretary General of NATO. In recent years, the Norwegian government has supported many global vaccine organizations, such as UNICEF, UNDP and GAVI. In the years 2000-2016, it provided financial support amounting to NOK 8,75 billion (0,97 billion euros) to GAVI alone. Over the next 5 years (2016-2020) the government has committed to contributing an additional NOK 6,25 billion (0,69 billion euros). Overall this is approximately NOK 15 billion (€1,67 billion) over a 20-year period. At the World Economic Forum 2017 the Norwegian government committed to contributing another NOK billion (0,11 billion euros) this time to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Court cases and financial compensation: Some people have obtained compensation after struggling in the legal system for years. But experience shows that it is almost impossible to obtain recognition or compensation for vaccine injuries without going to court. In the last ten years, 829 people have requested compensation for the adverse effects of vaccines. The data shows that 711 of these requests were rejected. Of the 118 total, all 108 involved the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine. Only ten people injured related to other types of vaccines received compensation.
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We want to thank you EFVV for providing us with the first information on the European situation.