Danish health officials scold young people as Covid cases continue to rise

Covid infections are on the rise in Denmark and data points to one demographic that's to blame.

Danish health officials scold young people as Covid cases continue to rise
Denmark supporters after the match against Czech Republic on July 3, 2021. Photo: Darko Vojinovic / POOL / AFP

Denmark’s infectious disease agency, Statens Serum Institut, reported 1,055 new cases of Covid-19 on July 13. That’s a 24 percent increase from the previous day’s tally of 848 new cases, and continues the trend of rising infections since the end of June. 

Denmark is moving in the wrong direction, Åse Bengård Andersen, chief physician at the Department of Infectious Diseases at Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet, told the Danish news agency Ritzau. 

“It still applies that it is the young people who become infected, and this is especially true in Copenhagen and Aarhus,” Andersen said. 

Almost half of all new infections in the past seven days have been in people aged 20-29. “I’m a little sad to see that,” Andersen said. “There are still vulnerable people who may become ill and need to be hospitalised.” 

In this age bracket, 25-29 year olds received vaccination invitations in early June – but according to SSI data, nearly 40 percent haven’t booked their first appointment. And although 20-24 year olds were invited in mid-May, only two percent are fully vaccinated. 

READ MORE: How does Denmark’s voluntary vaccination system work? 

“The status is that we have got them all invited, but that we have half-empty vaccination rooms,” Henrik Ullum, director at SSI, told Danish public service television provider TV2. 

“It’s really, really annoying, because it’s a good offer we have for people,” Ullum said. 

While politicians debate accelerating Denmark’s return to normal, Andersen said that the current indicators don’t suggest a further loosening of Covid restrictions would be prudent. 

Ten more coronavirus patients were hospitalised in the past 24 hours, bringing the national total to 47. And contrary to popular belief, the young can become seriously ill as well – 38 percent of hospitalised patients over the past week were aged 20 to 29. 

READ MORE: What Denmark nurses’ strike means for you 

The percentage of people testing positive also continues to increase, with PCR tests returning 1.26 positives in the past 24 hours, the highest since January 15 according to Ritzau. 

The Danish Ministry of Health tweeted that the rising contact number – a measure of how many people each Covid patient is likely to infect –  “testifies to a rising epidemic.” 

Member comments

  1. Hi, I am very grateful to read about how Denmark is trying to cope with the Corona virus. It saddens me though, to learn that some of the youth are also, as in Canada, not helping to keep the virus in check!
    My parents moved to Canada when I was 7 years old and I still think very highly of my birth place, Copenhagen!! I have traveled many times home to Denmark and due to the virus have had to postpone my trip planned for this year! Hopefully, things will under control and I can visit my beautiful Denmark again next year!!
    My love to all, Inger Egelund

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Covid-19: Denmark expects to bring updated jab into vaccination programme

An updated version of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, tabled by the European Medical Agency (EMA) for EU approval, is likely to be used in Denmark.

Covid-19: Denmark expects to bring updated jab into vaccination programme

The Danish Health Authority said that it expects the vaccine, which has been updated to protect against the currently dominant variant of the coronavirus, will be used in the autumn vaccination programme.

“We now have several variant-updated vaccines which we expect to give both better and broader protection against serious illness and death,” the deputy director of the Danish Health Auhtority, Helene Bilsted Probst, said in a press statement.

“We expect that the updated vaccine will give at least as good protection as the already-approved BA1-updated vaccine, and it could possibly be a little better,” she said.

The Health Authority is expected to make a decision in the near future on how doses of the latest update will be integrated into the existing vaccine programme.

Denmark’s autumn Covid-19 vaccination programme is scheduled to begin on September 15th, when care home residents and people aged 85 and over will be invited for a booster vaccine.

From October 1st, everyone aged 50 and over will be offered vaccination.

“Everyone who will be vaccinated in the autumn vaccination programme will be vaccinated with the variant-updated vaccine, and we will continuously assess how best to use it,” Probst said in the statement.

Other groups for which vaccination is recommended include those who are pregnant, work in the health and elderly care sectors, or are at heightened risk of serious illness.

Denmark took delivery of 720,000 Pfizer vaccines late last week and has secured a total of 4.5 million doses that will be delivered this month.

Probst stated that timely vaccination was important in reducing the likelihood of serious illness.

“So we need to get started so we can keep ahead of the virus,” she said.