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Daily Archives: 6. May 2021 − News & Stories


Spits­ber­gen is get­ting vac­ci­na­ted

Spitsbergen’s coro­na immu­ni­sa­ti­on sche­du­le is making good pro­gress. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has not yet been local­ly recor­ded, which is almost sur­pri­sing as the­re have been ple­nty of infec­tions in main­land Nor­way and tou­rists are regu­lar­ly com­ing from the­re. It seems to be com­mon that they think that the man­da­to­ry use of face masks, for examp­le in shops, does not app­ly to them.

The government in Oslo is well awa­re of Spitsbergen’s remo­te loca­ti­on, which would cau­se mas­si­ve pro­blems in case of a local Covid-19 brea­k­out. The local hos­pi­tal is not pre­pa­red to take care of coro­na pati­ents, and evacua­ting pati­ents to the main­land invol­ves a huge logisti­cal effort. Nor­way has thus deci­ded to give Spits­ber­gen prio­ri­ty wit­hin the natio­nal coro­na immu­ni­sa­ti­on sche­du­le. This app­lies not only to Lon­gye­ar­by­en, but also to the other sett­le­ments, such as Bar­ents­burg, Ny-Åle­sund and the rese­arch sta­ti­on in Horn­sund.

Corona immunisation

“You shall not pass!”
Longyearbyen’s stra­te­gy against the coro­na virus, and the who­le world’s.
Not Spits­ber­gen, but ano­t­her fan­tastic world. Author’s work based on a drawing by Gon­za­lo Ken­ny (the ori­gi­nal sce­ne in “The Lord of the Rings” invol­ves a slight­ly lar­ger, high­ly “inflamm­a­ble” virus 🙂 )

More than 1400 per­sons have alrea­dy been vac­ci­na­ted in Spits­ber­gen, inclu­ding about 90 who have alrea­dy got full pro­tec­tion with two requi­red injec­tions, as Sval­bard­pos­ten reports. Today (Thurs­day, 06 May), ano­t­her 500 per­sons are to get their vac­ci­na­ti­on. This means that a lar­ge pro­por­ti­on of Spitsbergen’s adult popu­la­ti­on will soon be vac­ci­na­ted at least once.

As ever­y­whe­re in the world, this invol­ves hopes for incre­a­sed per­so­nal safe­ty and the chan­ce to return to nor­mal life. As of now, it is not known when this will come for inter­na­tio­nal tra­vel­ling. The government in Oslo has announ­ced to make rele­vant decisi­ons in May. Nor­way does also take part in the Euro­pean pro­ject of a digi­tal vac­ci­na­ti­on cer­ti­fi­ca­te, which is sche­du­led to be avail­ab­le from late June. But it will be every government’s indi­vi­du­al decisi­on what kind of opti­ons owners of such a docu­ment will have, such as ent­ry to a coun­try for non-essen­ti­al pur­po­ses or par­ti­ci­pa­ting in a ship-based voya­ge. But it cer­tain­ly appears as a rea­so­nal pos­si­bi­li­ty that ack­now­led­ged docu­men­ta­ti­on of a coro­na vac­ci­na­ti­on may con­tri­bu­te to such oppor­tu­nities.

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