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COVID-19 VACCINES

Denmark buys 1.1m Pfizer doses from Romania

Denmark has bought 1.1m doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the Romanian government, potentially bringing forward vaccinations by two to three weeks.

Denmark buys 1.1m Pfizer doses from Romania
People in masks walk past a window in Bucharest with a vampire motif advising people to get vaccinated. Photo: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP

In a press release on Tuesday evening, Denmark’s health minister Magnus Heunicke said that the slow pace of vaccination in Romania had left the country with doses that it could not use. 

“We can do this deal because Romania is experiencing a low vaccination acceptance and therefore wants to sell excess vaccines that they are not allowed to use,” he said.

“With the vaccines purchased from Romania, more Danes can be vaccinated quickly. This is still more important now that we, unfortunately, have the more contagious delta variant… which is currently spreading rapidly in Denmark and the rest of the world.”

On Twitter, he wrote that the vaccines would be flown to Denmark as soon as possible, with a new vaccine calendar to be put together as soon as possible. 

Statens Serum Institut, which is responsible for managing the purchasing and logistics, said that the first vaccines would arrive in Denmark later this week. 

Denmark will now for the first time be able bring forward, rather than push back its vaccination calendar, with Denmark’s health minister, Magnus Heunicke, saying on Wednesday that he expected vaccinations to begin in the last age group in line, 30 to 34-year-olds, as early as this week.

“The 30 to 34-year-olds will be pushed forward and should receive a call to come and get vaccinated this week or next week. This shifts the vaccines forward a couple of weeks,” he told state broadcaster DR

 

READ ALSO: When can you now expect to get vaccinated in Denmark?

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the deal was “really good news to hear before leaving for the summer holidays”.

“This means that more Danes can now be vaccinated faster,” she added. “I would like to thank the Romanian Government for its good cooperation, and not least the Statens Serum Institut and the Danish embassy in Bucharest for their efficient and fast work.” 

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod preempted criticism that Denmark was buying vaccines from a much poorer country by pointing out that Denmark had itself given away considerable numbers of unused vaccines. 

“Just as Denmark has regularly donated and lent excess vaccines to other countries, this agreement is also a strong signal of European and international cooperation in the fight against corona,” he said in the statement. 

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Recent Covid-19 booster jab offers good protection: Danish agency

The number of new registered cases of Covid-19 in Denmark is currently declining despite the cold weather providing more favourable conditions for the virus.

Recent Covid-19 booster jab offers good protection: Danish agency

A weekly trend report from the national infectious disease control agency, State Serum Institute (SSI) shows that 3,781 people returned positive PCR tests for the coronavirus last week, compared to 4,247 the preceding week.

It should be noted that Denmark does not generally advise Covid-19 tests for those not at risk of severe illness from the virus.

READ ALSO: What is Denmark’s Covid-19 testing strategy for the winter?

Going further back, the number has almost halved, with 9,015 positive PCR tests registered during the week beginning October 10th.

The number of people with Covid-19 newly admitted to hospitals has also fallen, from 275 two weeks ago to 245 last week.

SSI has begun to include vaccine effectiveness as a new parameter in its weekly trend report.

According to the agency, people who have recently received a booster against Covid-19 are better protected against the virus than those who have not received a booster.

“Our analyses of the effect of the booster show that persons who received the fourth dose [second booster, ed.] prior to September 15th are well protected against hospital admission as a result of Covid-19,” SSI senior medical consultant Bolette Søborg said in a statement on the agency’s website.

The latest booster provides “around 75 percent better” protection against hospital admission compared to people who have received three doses,” she said.

READ ALSO: Can you get a Covid-19 booster in Denmark if you are not in a risk group?

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