"Hey! Have you taken the flu vaccine? It is recommended to everyone, from the age of 65. Contact your doctor and read more at www.fhi.no. Greetings to the State Council Åse Michaelsen ».
This SMS is sent this week to everyone aged 65-80. However, people who have not opened digital communication with the authorities will not receive it.
– People aged over 65 are at greater risk of developing severe influenza. Therefore, we have put together a brief reminder to over 500,000 people between the ages of 65 and 80, "says Kjersti Rydland, chief counselor at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI)'s Influenza Department, to NRK.
– What do you know about the effect of such challenges?
"In international studies, we see that this is a measure that has a pretty good effect. We do not have a figure in Norway about this, but certainly this is happening in other countries.
She also thinks there will be a more personal appeal when the message comes from the elderly minister, unless it came from the department.
– It can be a lot to gain
More than 900,000 Norwegians are over 65 years old. According to the FHI, much less than half of them are vaccinated against influenza.
"Last year there was a vaccination coverage of about 34% in this group, 65-80 years old. It would be more than 75% coverage," says Rydland.
At the same time, they are increasingly seeing vaccinations every year.
Up to the individual
With this text message from the Minister of Public Health, we hope that more elderly people will take the vaccine to protect themselves from serious influenza illness, "says Karoline Bragstad, Department Director at the Public Health Institute on their website.
In addition, it is up to the individual to take or not the vaccine.
"For many healthy elderly people, you may not need to take a vaccine, but flu can weaken your health and make you dependent on health care long after the infection has passed. So it can be great to gain from taking the vaccine in time before the start of the season, says Bragstad.
Rydland adds that you have a good time if you want to vaccinate this year.
"There is very little flu now, so you have to spend a few weeks before it starts to hurry. We do not expect more flu until December.