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Norway discards 137,000 Covid-19 vaccines as supplies exceed demand

It is expected that five to 11-year-olds in England will be called forward for vaccines in April.

Norwegian health authorities have said the country has a surplus of Covid-19 vaccines and has already discarded more than 137,000 doses because there is declining demand in low-income countries.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health said it plans a further disposal of doses if global demand does not change.

In Norway there is high vaccine coverage while globally a demand for donations has fallen.

"For the first time during the pandemic, the supply now exceeds the demand for Covid-19 vaccine doses," the agency said, adding that situation applies to most European Union countries.

Norway is not a member of the EU.

Norway has donated 7.4 million doses to more than 25 countries, chiefly through the UN-backed programme known as Covax but also through bilateral donations.

Earlier this month, health officials in neighbouring Denmark said 1.1 million excess Covid-19 vaccines would be discarded because their expiry date was near, and efforts to donate them to developing countries had failed.

According to the Norwegian agency, 93.1% of people older than 18 have received a first dose of a vaccine while 90.7% have had a second shot.

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