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2021.12.06 08:00

Lithuanians third among unvaccinated migrants in Norway

Kristina Kybartaitė, LRT.lt2021.12.06 08:00

Despite measures taken by the Norwegian authorities to encourage vaccination, more than half of Lithuanians, Poles, and Romanians living in the country have not taken Covid-19 jabs yet, the Norwegian national broadcaster NRK reported.

According to NRK, getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is very easy in Norway, as there is not shortage of doses or information on vaccination. But in terms of vaccination rates, Eastern Europeans still lag behind other immigrant groups.

Lithuanians are the third least vaccinated immigrant group in Norway. As of last week, only 49.2 percent of Lithuanians have received their Covid-19 jabs there.

By contrast, close to 88 percent of Pakistani and 83 percent of Afghan immigrants have already been vaccinated against coronavirus in Norway.

According to Laimonas Vinikaitis, chairman of the Lithuanian community in Oslo, Lithuanians in Norway refuse to get vaccinated for lagrely the same reasons some Lithuanians shun vaccination at home. But the language barrier is another contributing factor, he said.

“Due to their poor knowledge of Norwegian, some Lithuanians are less involved in social life here and therefore have limited information,” Vinikaitis told LRT.lt

In his words, many Lithuanians are also temporary residents in Norway, so they are not automatically notified that they should get vaccinated.

Vinikaitis also noted that if a person gets vaccinated in another country, they need to inform the Norwegian authorities. Otherwise, his or her vaccination is not reflected in the country’s statistics.

“Some Lithuanians who choose to be fully or partially vaccinated in Lithuania simply do not register their vaccination in Norway because of the bureaucracy involved,” Vinikaitis said.

Following the release of statistics on unvaccinated immigrants, the Norwegian government has proposed that employers should organise their workers’s vaccination by taking them to vaccination centres or by inviting medical staff to come to their workplace.

“Often, positive examples are contagious, so the number of people getting vaccinated would certainly rise,” Vinikaitis said about the proposal.

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