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VACCINE

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.

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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. 

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FEATURE

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.

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