79-year-old man first to get Covid-19 vaccine in Denmark

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected] • 27 Dec, 2020 Updated Sun 27 Dec 2020 11:03 CEST
79-year-old man first to get Covid-19 vaccine in Denmark

A 79-year-old man on Sunday morning became the first person in Denmark to receive the new Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.


Leif Heiselberg joked with a doctor as he received his first dose at Ældrecenter Øst, an elderly care home in Odense on the island of Funen. 
The vaccine better work, he warned, "otherwise, I'll come and haunt you." 
He said he was looking forward to being able to cuddle his grandchildren again. 
"It's a joy to me that I'll soon be finished with all this, that I will maybe be able to give my grandchildren a hug again," he told Danish state broadcaster DR.  
Thomas Senderovitz, director of the Danish medicines agency, called the first vaccination "a gigantic achievement". "It's the moon landing of our time," he said. 
Denmark received 9,750 doses of the vaccine on Saturday, with the doses them sent out to elderly care homes in each of the country's five regions. 
Those who receive injections this week will require a second injection in two weeks. 


The first in the queue are people in risk groups -- the elderly and chronically sick -- as well as people who work in elderly care homes and other people who have contact with those in risk groups. 
Denmark's prime minister Mette Frederiksen watched via a virtual connection as Jytte Margrethe Frederiksen, who lives in an elderly care home in Ishøj, outside Copenhagen, got vaccinated. 
Photo: Keld Navntoft/Ritzau Scanpix
EU commission chief Ursula von der Leyen hailed the start of the European Union's vaccination campaign as a "touching moment of unity and a European success story".
Countries are showing different strategies in their vaccination targeting, with Italy focusing on health workers, France the elderly and in the Czech Republic the prime minister himself at the front of the queue.
In a sign of impatience, some EU countries began vaccinating on Saturday, a day before the official start, with a 101-year-old woman in a care home becoming the first person in Germany to be inoculated and Hungary and Slovakia also handing out their first shots.


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