Denmark to roll out Covid-19 ‘vaccine passport’

Denmark is to introduce official documentation for people to show they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, in a move that has received the backing of industries including air travel and festival organisers.

Denmark to roll out Covid-19 'vaccine passport'
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The Ministry of Health is to launch the ‘Covid-19 vaccine passport’ early this year, national broadcaster DR reports.

The ministry “is working on a Covid-19 vaccine passport which is expected to be ready in early 2021,” according to written information provided to DR.

Vaccinated people in the country will be able to download the documentation via the website, by logging in with the secure digital NemID.

Proof of Covid-19 vaccination is expected to be useful for those travelling abroad, the ministry said.

“It is our expectation that there could be a requirement from other countries to produce (Covid-19) vaccine documentation at entry. This is where a Danish vaccine passport can be used,” they wrote to DR.

The documentation will be updated as new knowledge about the vaccinations – for example, for how long they are effective – emerges, they also noted.

The move was praised by Michael Svane, section head for Transport with the Confederation of Danish Industry.

“A vaccination passport is the way for us to put restrictions behind us and travel by air much more,” he told DR.

Svane added he hoped for an international solution to enable such documentation to be used worldwide.

Another section of the economy which could benefit from the concept is festivals and other events with attendances numbering multiple thousands.

“I think many festivals would use this because it can help to ensure that outbreaks don’t occur due to having an event,” Esben Marcher of Dansk Live, an interest organisation for Danish festivals and concert venues, told DR.

READ ALSO: Danish health ministry to develop Covid-19 'vaccine passport'

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IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?

The number of new Covid-19 infections fell on Saturday for the second day in a row, following a three-day plateau at the start of last week. Has the omicron wave peaked?

IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?
Graffiti in the Copenhagen hippy enclave of Christiania complaining of Omicron's impact on Christmas. Photo: Philip Davali/Scanpix

How many cases, hospitalisations and deaths are there in Denmark? 

Denmark registered 12,588 new cases in the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, down from the 18,261 registered on in the day leading up to Friday at 2pm, which was itself a decline from the record 28,283 cases recorded on Wednesday. 

The cases were identified by a total of 174,517 PCR tests, bringing the positive percentage to 7.21 percent, down from the sky high rates of close to 12 percent seen in the first few days of January. 

The number of cases over the past seven days is lower than the week before in almost every municipality in Denmark, with only Vallensbæk, Aarhus, Holseterbro, Skanderborg, Hjørring, Vordingborg,  Ringkøbing, Kolding, Assens, Horsens, Thisted, and Langeland reporting rises. 

Hospitalisations have also started to fall, with some 730 patients being treated for Covid-10 on Saturday, down from 755 on Friday. On Tuesday, 794 were being treated for Covid-19 in Danish hospitals, the highest number since the peak of the 2020-21 winter wave.

The only marker which has not yet started to fall is the number of deaths, which tends to trail infections and hospitalisations. 

In the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, Denmark registered 28 deaths with Covid-19, the highest daily number recorded since 20 January 2021, when 29 people died with Covid-19 (although Denmark’s deadliest day was the 19 January 2021, when 39 people died). 

How does Denmark compare to other countries in Europe? 

Over the last seven days, Denmark has had the highest Covid-19 case rate of any country in Europe bar Ireland. The number of new infections in the country has climbed steadily since the start of December, apart from a brief fall over Christmas. 

So does this mean the omicron wave has peaked? 

Maybe, although experts are not sure. 

“Of course, you can hope for that, but I’m not sure that is the case,” said Christian Wejse, head of the Department for Infectious Diseases at Aarhus University Hospital. “I think it is too early to conclude that the epidemic has peaked.”

He said that patients with the Omicron variant were being discharged more rapidly on average than had been the case with those who had the more dangerous Delta variant. 

“Many admissions are relatively short-lived, thankfully. This is because many do not become that il, and are largely hospitalized because they are suffering with something else. And if they are stable and do not need oxygen, then they are quickly discharged again.” 

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during a visit to an event held by the Social Liberal party that the latest numbers made her even more optimistic about the coming month. 

“We have lower infection numbers and the number of hospitalisations is also plateauing,” she said. “I think we’re going to get through this winter pretty well, even if it will be a difficult time for a lot of people, and we are beginning to see the spring ahead of us, so I’m actually very optimistic.” 

She said that she had been encouraged by the fact that Omicron was a “visibly less dangerous variant if it is not allowed to explode.”