First doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine arrive in Denmark

The first delivery of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine arrived at Denmark's state infectious diseases agency early on Saturday morning, before being split and sent out to Denmark's five regions.

First doses of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine arrive in Denmark
Vans arrive at SSI's Amager HQ carrying the vaccine. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
“We have long been looking forward to receiving this first batch of vaccines and therefore to be able to send them out to the Danes,” the agency's director Henrik Ullum told the country's Ritzau news agency. 
“It is absolutely great that we now can soon aim a direct blow at the coronavirus by treating it actively and immunising people so that they do not get sick.” 
The delivery of 9,750 doses arrived in a truck from Pfizer's distribution centre in Belgium, and was split into smaller deliveries before being sent out to the regions. 
The first Danish citizens to receive a dose, all residents at five different elderly care homes, will receive their first injections at 9am on Sunday morning. 
Selected staff members at elderly care homes are next in line to be vaccinated. 
The first delivery will be sufficient only to vaccinate about 5,000 Danish citizens, with each recipient receiving two doses with an interval of three weeks between them. 
In the coming week, Denmark is set to receive a further 38,025 doses, after which about 48,000 doses a week will be delivered. 
The country has requested sufficient doses to vaccinate 1.5m Danish citizens with the Pfizer vaccine. 
On December 21st, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine became the first vaccine to be approved by the European Medicines Agency. 
Every Danish citizen over the age of 18 is expected to eventually be offered the vaccine, but it is up to each individual whether they decide to receive it. 

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Danish government wants rethink on dropped vaccines

Denmark's government on Monday asked the country's health authority to reconsider rulings against using the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines, after struggling to keep its vaccination drive on schedule.

Danish government wants rethink on dropped vaccines
File photo:Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The use of both vaccines was abandoned several weeks ago over concerns about rare, but severe cases of blood clots in some recipients.

But the Danish authorities have had difficulty getting deliveries of the Moderna vaccine from the United States, forcing a revision of plans to have everyone vaccinated by September.

At the moment, the estimated delay amounts to two weeks.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke told state broadcaster DR it was in this context that the government was asking the health authority to reconsider.

The authority withdrew AstraZeneca from the country’s vaccination programme in mid-April, and Johnson & Johnson in early May.

It cited not just the health concerns but the fact that the epidemic appeared to be under control and there seemed to be sufficient supplies of the approved vaccines, Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna.

Denmark was the first European country to drop the two vaccines from its official campaign, but in May 20th it loosened the restrictions for anyone who was willing to take them.