Denmark to invest in vaccination and information

Denmark’s health and children’s ministries have launched a new plan they say will strengthen the country’s vaccination programme.

Denmark to invest in vaccination and information
File photo: Mikkel Møller Jørgensen/Scanpix 2013

The proposal aims to provide more children with recommended vaccinations and to offer young boys free HPV vaccines, along with more effective influenza vaccines for risk groups, the Ministry for Health and the Elderly said in a statement published on its website on Thursday.

The proposed vaccination plan will provide more robust protection against influenza and offer boys aged 12 years HPV vaccines on the same terms as girls, the ministry said.

“When we as parents vaccinate our children, we probably do so first and foremost to protect the individual child. But at the same time we are helping to prevent serious infectious diseases from spreading as epidemics amongst the population, reaching those who are too small or weak to be vaccinated themselves,” Minister of Health Ellen Trane Nørby said in the press statement.

“We are not doing this for fun – vaccines save lives every year,” Nørby added.

One element of the programme is a training package for nurses to act as “vaccination ambassadors”, the ministry writes, enabling healthcare workers to speak to parents about the benefits of vaccinations as well as concerns.

The government also proposes information packs for daycares and parent committees setting out the importance of vaccination.

“Parents have a great responsibility to vaccinate their children. Some people need a reminder, others need more information. That’s why we have allocated money for more information for parents – information which can be used at daycares to promote dialogue with parents about the vaccination of their children,” Minister for Children and Social Affairs Mai Mercado said.



New Year’s Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark

The number of people treated for fireworks-related injuries on New Year's Eve in Denmark has bounced back to normal levels, with 16 people treated for eye injuries after the celebrations.

New Year's Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark
Fireworks led to 16 eye injuries on New Year's Eve. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

This is up from the unusually low 12 people who were treated for eye injuries during and after the celebrations last year. Two of this year’s injuries are sufficiently severe that the injured are expected to lose their sight completely or partially.

“After a very quiet evening last year, it is back to a normal, average level,” Ulrik Correll Christensen, head doctor at the ophthalmology department at Rigshospitalet, told the country’s Ritzau newswire. “It is a completely extraordinary situation at the eye departments on New Year’s Eve. It is not at all something we see on a daily basis.” 

Christensen has tallied up reports from all of Denmark’s eye units, including the major ones in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Aarhus, Odense and Næstved. 

He said that 15 out of the 16 cases had not worn safety goggles, two thirds were between ten and thirty years old. 

“The most important thing is to follow the advice when firing fireworks. Wear safety goggles and keep a good distance,” he said. 

The number of ambulance call outs on New Year’s Eve is also back to normal, with 1,188 emergency vehicles sent out, compared to 875 last year. 

In the Capital Region of Copenhagen, there were 44 call-outs were related to fireworks, of which 16 were for hand injuries and 14 for eye injuries.