Coronavirus: Denmark hopes to begin vaccine programme on December 27th

Coronavirus: Denmark hopes to begin vaccine programme on December 27th
Covid-19 vaccines in Boston, USA. Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen hopes that the country can begin vaccinating vulnerable people and front-line health sector workers shortly after Christmas.

The PM expressed her hope over a forthcoming vaccine to a number of Danish media on Thursday as promising signs emerge that the EU will approve the first vaccine for public use by Christmas.

Frederiksen said she could not yet give a definite date for the start of vaccinations in Denmark.

“Things are moving extremely fast. We hope for an approval within just a few days and if everything goes well, we’ll be underway with vaccination shortly after that,” she said according to DR and TV2.

The first vaccines are already en route to Denmark in anticipation of approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), news wire Ritzau writes.

Elderly care home residents and elderly people in risk groups will be prioritised first for the vaccine, along with front-line health service staff.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, confirmed on Thursday that vaccination in the entire EU can begin on December 27th provided the approval is in place.

Denmark could even begin vaccinating against Covid-19 before that date if doses are ready in the country, Frederiksen said.

“Although I’m a strong supporter of coordination at the European level, the vaccine will be delivered and distributed the moment it arrives on Danish soil,” she said.

The PM was unable to give a figure for the number of doses Denmark can expect initially.

“That is one of the things that is always changing. We shouldn’t expect many doses in the first round, but doses will hopefully arrive at relatively short intervals,” she said.

The Danish Health Authority is scheduled to send an information letter regarding the vaccine to residents by the new year, via the secure e-boks digital mail service.

The vaccine news comes as Denmark again reported a record number of new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday. 4,034 cases were detected from 124,707 tests.

The number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients increased on Thursday by 23 to 516. That is just short of the peak hospitalisation total from the spring wave of the virus, which stood at 535 on April 1st.

The government announced a full national lockdown on Wednesday in response to the escalating spread of Covid-19 in capital Copenhagen and across the country.

READ ALSO: Denmark presents Covid-19 vaccination plan: first vaccines could be offered in December


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