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Norway Vows to Make Coronavirus Vaccination Free for Citizens

© REUTERS / Dado RuvicA woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration
A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a Vaccine COVID-19 sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration - Sputnik International
MURMANSK, Russia (Sputnik) - The vaccination against COVID-19 in Norway will be free of charge and might begin as early as in the beginning of the coming year, Norwegian Health Minister Bent Hoie said on Tuesday.

"We hope that the vaccination might begin in early 2021, but it will depend on when the vaccine gets approved," Hoie said in an address to the parliament, as quoted by Norwegian news agency NRK.

Before the vaccine is brought to Norway, it must get approved by the European Medicines Agency and be proven safe and effective, the minister specified.

"The COVID-19 vaccine will be free for all citizens. The government will also cover all associated costs of counties and clinics," Hoie said.

According to the Norwegian health minister, the national vaccination plan will be developed by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, while the campaigns in each individual region will be supervised by local authorities.

According to the Norwegian government's earlier announcements, it had earmarked 3.7 billion kroner ($400 million) in the next year's budget to be spent on coronavirus vaccine procurement.

As of Tuesday, Norway has reported 15,639 COVID-19 cases, including 277 deaths.

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