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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Denmark suspends national Covid-19 vaccination programme

Denmark, which in February lifted all curbs related to the coronavirus pandemic, said on Tuesday it was suspending its general Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Denmark suspends national Covid-19 vaccination programme

Noting that the epidemic was under control and that vaccination levels were high, the Danish Health Authority said the country was in a “good position.”

“Therefore we are winding down the mass vaccination program against Covid-19,” said Bolette Søborg, director of the authority’s department of infectious diseases.

Around 81 percent of Denmark’s 5.8 million inhabitants have received two doses of the vaccine and 61.6 percent have also received a booster.

Denmark noted a drop in the number of new infections and stable hospitalisation rates.

While invitations for vaccinations would no longer be issued after May 15th, health officials anticipate that vaccinations would resume after the summer.

“We plan to reopen the vaccination programme in the autumn. This will be preceded by a thorough professional assessment of who and when to vaccinate and with which vaccines,” Søborg said.

As a wave of the Omicron variant hit the country last November, Denmark intensified its immunisation campaign, accelerating access to booster shots and offering a fourth dose from mid-January to the most vulnerable.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Denmark registers under 1,000 cases in a day for first time in 2022