- Sputnik International, 1920
Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

Norway Registers 'Stoltenberg Effect' as Citizens Queue for Moderna Boosters

© AP Photo / Ted S. WarrenIn this March 4, 2021 file photo, a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine rests on a table at a drive-up mass vaccination site in Puyallup, Wash., south of Seattle.
In this March 4, 2021 file photo, a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine rests on a table at a drive-up mass vaccination site in Puyallup, Wash., south of Seattle. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2021
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The recent spike in demand for the Moderna vaccine has been ascribed to Norwegian Institute of Public Health director Camilla Stoltenberg saying that it is her booster shot of choice.
Norwegian municipalities across the country have reported a spike in people asking for the Moderna vaccine for their booster dose. This has been directly linked with Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) director Camilla Stoltenberg mentioning that Moderna was her first choice.
The FHI has recently suggested that Moderna provides better protection than Pfizer against the Delta strain, and recently, Moderna received even more praise from the FHI director, who said she wants to get the Moderna vaccine as her third shot.
"It is because I think it can increase the possibility of getting good protection overall", Stoltenberg said.
Several municipalities have since reported a sharp increase in interest in the Moderna vaccine after Stoltenberg's comments, which the local press rushed to dub "the Stoltenberg effect".

"It was like flipping a switch. We have many who are switching from Pfizer to Moderna", vaccine coordinator Lalja Lyseggen in Lillestrøm Municipality told the newspaper Verdens Gang. "But it's okay, people can do as they please. We have enough of both types of vaccines, so it's going well", she added.

The same picture was observed in Bergen.

"We notice that there is great interest in Moderna when it comes to the refreshment dose. This interest has increased further since Camilla Stoltenberg commented that she would choose Moderna", Bergen vaccine project leader Elisabeth Engelsen said.

Camilla Stoltenberg is the sister of former Norwegian Prime Minister, long-time Labour leader, and current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The name is even more familiar inside Norway, as the prominent and extremely well-connected Stoltenberg family includes their father Thorvald, a well-known Labour politician who also served as an ambassador, defence minister, and foreign minister, and their mother Karin who served as a state secretary in multiple governments in the 1980s.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg delivers a speech on European defence and transatlantic security at the German Marshall Fund think-tank in Brussels, Belgium, November 18, 2016. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.12.2021
Norwegian MPs See 'Democracy Problems' as NATO Boss Stoltenberg Enters Race to Lead Central Bank
The vaccine manufacturer Moderna itself states that their booster dose can increase the antibodies in the body between 37 and 80 times and works well against the novel Omicron strain, which has become the dominant variant in several countries, with consequences not fully clear yet.
Norway has so far seen nearly 360,000 cases of COVID-19, with over 1,209 deaths. The country is currently wading through a new infection wave, having recently hit several daily records in a row. As of now, the Omicron strain is gaining momentum, with the number of cases having nearly quadrupled in a single week.
Vials labelled VACCINE Coronavirus COVID-19 and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed flag of Norway in this illustration taken December 11, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.12.2021
Omicron COVID Strain
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