Explained: How does Denmark’s voluntary system work for AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines?

People in Denmark can register for medical consultation with a view to being given a Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson outside of the country’s national vaccination programme.

Explained: How does Denmark’s voluntary system work for AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines?
File photo:Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

Earlier in May, health authorities signed an agreement with a private company, Practio, allowing the Covid-19 vaccines from the two companies to be distributed under an informed consent system.

The vaccines from J&J and AstraZeneca have both been from the national vaccination programme because a very small risk of serious side effects combined with the stable situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in Denmark reducing the urgency to use them, health authorities previously said.

People interesting in receiving one of the vaccines must register their interest via Practio’s website.

When registering, you will be asked to provide details including your age and some medical information and asked to give some background as to why you are interested in opting for one of the two vaccines.

You will also be asked which of the two vaccines you would prefer to receive and asked to answer some simple questions on basic information provided during the registration process.

Once you have submitted your registration, you will receive a confirmation email. At a later date, you will be offered an appointment for a video consultation with the doctor.

Following medical consultation with a doctor, which takes around 10 minutes, you may be approved to receive one of the vaccines.

During the consultation, you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the vaccines and will be given information, including about potential side effects and whether you might be in a higher risk group for them.

Doctors can also give you an idea of how long you will have to wait to be vaccinated under Denmark’s national vaccination programme, and can tell you the relative effectiveness of the different vaccines based on the results of international studies.

If approved, you will be sent an appointment by email immediately following the consultation, but can choose to change the time if you are unable to attend the one you are sent.

The doctor who conducts your consultation can choose not to allow you to proceed with vaccination and instead recommend you wait to be invited for vaccination under the national programme.


Twenty employees of engineering firm Lowenco, together with their boss Mikael Hoier, on May 23rd became the first people to be given the Johnson & Johnson vaccine under the elective scheme.

Practio’s vaccination centre is located at DGI Byen, close to the Central Station in Copenhagen, but the company plans to also open vaccination centres in Roskilde, Odense, Aarhus and Aalborg. 

People who receive vaccinations under the scheme do not lost their right to claim compensation should they experience side effects.

“Patients and doctors should know that (Denmark’s patient compensation board, Patienterstatningen) covers all serious side effects from approved vaccines. That includes the Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, even though they have been withdrawn from the vaccination programme,” the compensation board’s director Karen-Inger Bast last week told newspaper Politiken.

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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.”