Denmark sends new optional vaccination scheme out to consultation

Denmark's government has today sent out the details of its new optional vaccination scheme for consultation, with health minister Magnus Heunicke saying he hopes to have the scheme in place by May 20th.

Denmark sends new optional vaccination scheme out to consultation
Health MEmil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

At a press conference on Monday, Heunicke said that once the legal basis was up and running it would be up to the private companies who have expressed interest in delivering the vaccinations to get the system running as rapidly as possible. 

“Exactly when the first Danish citizen will get a jab under the optional scheme, I can not answer,” he said. “It is up to the private companies to be able to deliver.”

Heunicke had earlier revealed that the plan was being put out to consultation in a message sent out over Twitter. 

“Yes, I can going to put the executive order on the option vaccination scheme out or public consultation today,” he wrote.

“This means issuance will finally come next week. In the meantime, we will conduct a dialogue with the companies that have shown interest in taking responsibility for the task, so that their practical questions can be clarified.”

Denmark in April opted to remove the AstraZeneca vaccine from its vaccination program on account of a very rare but very serious side effect, now called ‘Vaccine-induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia’ (VITT), which has led to a small number of deaths among those given the vaccine.

For the same reason, Denmark has withdrawn the Johnson & Johnson jab from its vaccination program.

The optional scheme would allow those willing to take this very small risk to put themselves forward to be vaccinated using AstraZeneca and possibly even the Johnson & Johnson jab. 

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Danish engineers first to be jabbed under voluntary vaccine scheme

Twenty employees of the Danish engineering firm Lowenco, together with their boss Mikael Hoier, on Sunday became the first people to be given the Johnson & Johnson vaccine under Denmark’s new optional vaccination scheme.

Danish engineers first to be jabbed under voluntary vaccine scheme
Practio co-founder Jonas Nilsen said that the employees had all been given detailed adviuce before they were given the jab. Photo: Practio

The group wanted to get vaccinated so that they can travel to India to install 20 freezers at a vaccine factory.

“It went pretty well, pretty calm and then a little prick,” Hoier, director of Lowenco, told state broadcaster DR.

After undergoing a medical consultation on Saturday, the group were given the green light to get vaccinated on Sunday.

“They all had many questions about potential side effects and the pros and cons of receiving the vaccine,” said Jonas Nilsen, a doctor and co-founder of Practio, which has been given the task of vaccinating Danes under the new optional scheme.


After thinking over the decision overnight, two of the company’s employees opted against receiving the vaccine. 

“That is absolutely OK by me. It’s a personal decision and it won’t go against them,” Hoier said. 

Practio doctors advised the company to delay their departure to India to the end of this week, so the vaccine has more time to take effect, and they do not suffer complications during their trip.

“There is a chance that someone will be affected by side effects such as headaches, fever and soreness shortly after being injected,” he said.

Sunday’s vaccinations were carried out at Sønderbro Apotek in Copenhagen, and from Monday, vaccinations will be given at Practio’s own vaccine site in Copenhagen, where up to 5,000 people can be vaccinated a day.

The company plans to soon open vaccination centres in Roskilde, Odense, Aarhus and Aalborg. 

On Sunday, Nilsen told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that more than 20,000 people in Denmark had already put themselves down on the list for an optional vaccination, and said that his company is capable of treating about 70,000 vaccination patients a day.