Covid-19 vaccine: Denmark offers Pfizer jab to children ages 12-15

Elizabeth Anne Brown
Elizabeth Anne Brown - [email protected]
Covid-19 vaccine: Denmark offers Pfizer jab to children ages 12-15
A youth receives a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech against Covid-19 on June 29, 2021 at an outdoor vaccination centre. Photo: MARTIN BUREAU / AFP)

In a considerable acceleration of the original vaccination schedule, 240,000 children ages 12-15 were summoned for coronavirus vaccination on Wednesday, July 14th, according to the Danish Health authority.


Fifteen-year-olds will find their vaccine invitations in their own Sundhed e-box, since they're of age to decide themselves whether to get the vaccine, while invitations for 12-14-year-olds will go to their parents. 

Test centres report plenty of appointment slots available, Danish news agency Ritzau says, and a new provision allows booking vaccine appointments in another part of Denmark to accommodate travel for the summer holidays. 

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

Is the vaccine safe for kids? The European Medicines Agency approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children 12-15 in May, after analysing the results of a study with 2,200 children. The Danish Health Authority endorsed vaccinating children in this age range after their own review in June.


Camila Foged, professor of vaccine design at the University of Copenhagen, points to a study the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on side effects of the Pfizer vaccine in five million children. That study showed no cause for concern, she said.

Side effects should be similar to adults’ – soreness at injection site, aches, headache and fever. "Children between the ages of 12 and 15 appear to have slightly fewer side effects than those aged 16 to 25," Camilla Foged told Ritzau this week. 

But some prominent Danish health professionals have expressed concern about how few clinical trials have been completed, Danish national newspaper Berlingske reports, and had been more comfortable endorsing a vaccination programme for children in the autumn when even more data will be available. 

Part of the urgency to the vaccination schedule change is Denmark's cache of 1.1 million Pfizer vaccines purchased from Romania in late June, which are close to expiration. 


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