Denmark reaches Covid vaccination landmark... but experts warn there's a long way to go

Elizabeth Anne Brown
Elizabeth Anne Brown - [email protected]
Denmark reaches Covid vaccination landmark... but experts warn there's a long way to go
Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen receives her Covid-19 jab. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

As of Sunday, over 50 percent of the Danish population was fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the Ministry of Health said. But experts say there is a long way still to go.


Zealand, the capital region, leads the pack at a rate of 54.4 percent. Recent decisions have opened vaccinations to Danes 12-15 years of age (around a third of whom have already signed up for their jabs) as well as people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Over 2,939,901 residents are now protected from the coronavirus, according to Ministry of Health data. 

READ MORE:One in three children in Denmark accept Covid-19 vaccine invitation

While it’s a proud benchmark, there’s still substantial progress to be made before public health officials will feel comfortable. 

“We must ensure that 85 percent of the population is fully vaccinated against corona before the Autumn,” said Viggo Andreasen, an associate professor at Roskilde University and researcher on mathematical epidemiology. “It cannot completely give us herd immunity to the Delta variant – it’s so contagious.” 

“But it will be able to prevent major epidemics,” Andreasen added. 


Sunday was the eighth consecutive day without a Covid-related death in Denmark. Across the country, 59 people are hospitalised with the virus, 10 of whom are in intensive care and six on respirators. 

READ MORE: Denmark to change Covid-19 vaccination guidelines for pregnant and breastfeeding women

As of July 24th, Denmark leads many countries – including neighbors Germany and Sweden – in partial and full vaccination rates.
Who remains to be vaccinated? 
Over 60 percent of Danish residents over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated, according to the Ministry of Health. But younger Danes, and particularly men, lag behind significantly – only 12.9 percent of men aged 30-39 and 18 percent of 20-29-year-old men are fully vaccinated, based on data from Staten Serum Insitute, the Danish infectious disease agency. Women in those age groups fare slightly better, at 16.7 and 23 percent, respectively. 
These demographics are key to slowing the spread of the Delta variant since 56.8 percent of all new infections over the past several days were in people ages 20-39, the data from SSI's Covid-19 infection dashboard show. 
Since they became eligible for vaccines in mid-July, about one out of every eight children between the ages of 12 and 15 has received their first jab of the Pfizer vaccine, the only shot approved for use in children. As the two Pfizer doses must be given several weeks apart, none in that age bracket are yet fully vaccinated. 


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