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Seven Fully Vaccinated Residents Infected in Norwegian Retirement Home Outbreak

© AP Photo / NTB SCANPIXFILE PHOTO: The National Institute of Public Health's new app Smittestopp (Infection Stop) for infection tracking is pictured, in Oslo, Norway, 16 April 2020.
FILE PHOTO: The National Institute of Public Health's new app Smittestopp (Infection Stop) for infection tracking is pictured, in Oslo, Norway, 16 April 2020.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.04.2021
The eruption astonished medical professionals and healthcare officials, as outbreaks of such scope among vaccinated people who are generally considered safe from the virus have never occurred in Norway before.

Seven fully vaccinated residents at the Gystadmyr retirement home Jessheim have been diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition, five employees and two close contacts were infected in the ongoing outbreak.

Municipal chief physician Laurence Jary-Vattøy in Ullensaker was amazed that so many fully vaccinated people have been diagnosed with the infection simultaneously.

“It is surprising that so many have been diagnosed with the infection, despite being fully vaccinated,” Jary-Vattøy told TV 2.

The first case of infection was revealed on Easter evening. Since then, the outbreak has grown in scope.

“The residents were diagnosed with the virus two months after having received the second dose”, Jary-Vattøy stressed.

The route of infection has not been identified and the infection tracking team in Ullensaker is struggling to work it out.

So far, the municipal chief confirmed that three of the seven infected residents have been diagnosed with either the South African or Brazilian virus variant.

Jary-Vattøy was hesitant to opine on whether this indicated that the vaccine doesn't work on these strains which are known to be more contagious.

The outbreak of infection amid the generally high infection level in the municipality forced to a ban on visiting all elderly care institutions and nursing homes in Ullensaker. Additionally, all Gystadmyr residents and employees have been tested, but not all results are in yet.

“This means that we could get more positive test results than the 14 we have so far,” Jary-Vattøy said.

The National Institute of Public Health (FHI) underscored that never before there has been registered an outbreak among vaccinated people, who are considered protected, of the same scope as in Ullensaker.

“That so many fully vaccinated people become infected and ill, has not happened before,” FHI chief physician Preben Aavitsland told TV2.

According to a statement from Johns Hopkins University, 101,607 cases of the infection have been registered among Norway's population of almost 5.4 million inhabitants during the pandemic. Of those, 684 have passed away or are dead.

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