Denmark to give third vaccine jab to people with weakened immune systems

Denmark to give third vaccine jab to people with weakened immune systems
Will residents of elderly care homes like Carl-Einar Jørgensen need another jab before Christmas? Photo: Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix
The Danish Health Authority is to issue guidelines for which citizens should be given third vaccine jabs to ensure that they have sufficient protection from coronavirus.

In an email to the Ritzau news agency, Helene Probst, the authority’s deputy director, said that the first in line would be seriously ill patients whose immune systems have been weakened. 

“It will be patients with very weakened immune systems who have therefore not had such a good effect of the vaccine,” she wrote. “That would typically be cancer patients who have received chemotherapy, or people who have received organ transplants, or patients with immune diseases.” 

The next in line would be residents of elderly care homes, but only if there were signs that the immunity they had gained from the vaccinations given in January and February was starting to wane. 

“We don’t yet have enough knowledge to be able to say where there is a need to give a third dose because the vaccinations are no longer having such a good effect,” Probst said. “But we will not hesitate to recommend a third dose if it turns out that there is falling immunity among those who have been vaccinated.” 

Germany is considering giving all citizens a third dose, several Swiss cantons are already giving booster shots, and France plans to start giving booster doses from next month.

In the US, citizens with weakened immune systems are already being offered third jabs, 

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Probst said that her authority was following what was happening in Germany, the US, and other countries very closely, and was also carefully monitoring the number of fully vaccinated people being admitted to hospital in Denmark, to see if there are any signs of dwindling immunity. 

“We have an enormously high level of support for vaccines, not least in the vulnerable groups and among health and care staff. At the same time, we have primarily used the best and most effective mRNA vaccines, which have a real effect,” she said.

“Some vaccines last a lifetime, some last for a number of years, and some require a jab once a year. We need to know how long the vaccines work before we can take that decision.” 


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