Danish PM wants domestic Covid-19 vaccine production in 2022

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen wants Denmark to produce its own Covid-19 vaccines from 2022. The state will work with the private sector to achieve that aim, she said.

Danish PM wants domestic Covid-19 vaccine production in 2022
Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen wants the country to produce its own Covid-19 vaccines. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The government will call for the private sector to propose ways in which vaccines could be produced in Denmark before a bidding round on a contract is eventually opened, news wire Ritzau reported after Frederiksen gave comments to a number of media.

“Based on the dialogue we have had with the science sector recently, our view is that there is a basis to establish production in Denmark on commercial terms,” she told financial newspaper Børsen.

Frederiksen has described the issue of Covid-19 vaccines as a “national security” issue.

She did not specify which company’s vaccine she envisaged seeing production in Denmark. In comments to broadcaster TV2, the PM said that the technology used must be of the mRNA type used in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Denmark earlier this month withdrew the AstraZeneca vaccine, which uses a different technology, from its national programme due to concerns over rare but serious side effects. The Nordic nation is the only country to have completely withdrawn the vaccine.


The PM did also not put a figure on the state investment in the project.

But a bid for the contract would have to be approved by parliament, TV2 reports.

A target of domestic Covid-19 vaccine production in Denmark next year is optimistic, according to the Danish Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (Lif).

“It is a sensible idea to test whether the market can deliver this if you believe (production) should happen here in Denmark,” the organisation’s business director Sofie Jensen told national broadcaster DR.

But the complexity of Covid-19 vaccine production meant such an arrangement could take some time, she added.

“From our side it is not realistic to be able to establish something like that as soon as 2022,” she added.

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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.”