Denmark gives 120,000 influenza vaccinations in two weeks

Denmark gives 120,000 influenza vaccinations in two weeks
A file photo of an influenza vaccine. Photo: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix
Danish pharmacies have given influenza vaccines to as many people during the last two weeks as they did throughout the entire 2019 winter season.

Around 120,000 people in the country have already received vaccines at 380 pharmacies that offer the influenza jab.

The numbers come from the Danish Association of Pharmacists (Danmarks Apotekerforening), which published them in a press statement.

The figure covers the period since October 1st, when a free offer of influenza vaccines for people over the age of 65 and certain risk groups came into effect.

The Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) has advised influenza vaccines be given to people in these categories first, given that there is a limited supply.

Pharmacies have therefore paused influenza vaccination for other groups.

Groups given priority for the ‘flu vaccination include pregnant women in the second and third trimesters, severely overweight people, people on sickness pensions and others with chronic illnesses.

The Danish Association of Pharmacists stressed the enhanced importance of the influenza vaccine during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s good that so many (in risk groups) have followed health authority recommendations (to get an influenza vaccination) because they face the biggest risk if they come down with both influenza and Covid-19. That can make the disease much worse,” the association’s technical director Birthe Søndergaard said in the statement.

“Additionally, we want to avoid patients with influenza occupying beds in hospitals which could potentially be needed for corona patients,” Søndergaard said.

Around half of the Danish population over 65 was vaccinated against influenza in 2019. Health authorities want to exceed that this year because of the coronavirus crisis.

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