Denmark to offer third Covid-19 vaccine dose to care home residents

Denmark to offer third Covid-19 vaccine dose to care home residents
Care home residents queue for vaccination against Covid-19 earlier this year. Photo: Tim Kildeborg Jensen/Ritzau Scanpix
People who live in care homes in Denmark will be eligible for a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine from next week.

The Danish Health Authority announced the decision in a statement on Friday following the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommendation on Thursday that European countries plan revaccination.

In its recommendation, the EMA noted that data does not currently support giving a third vaccine dose to entire populations, but that it is necessary for vulnerable groups.

“Revaccination of residents at care homes will begin next week. We have the vaccines and we fortunately already have a lot of experience in rolling out vaccination at care homes,” Health Authority deputy director Helene Probst said in the statement.

Both the EMA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have stated that vaccines given up to this point still provide good protection against Covid-19. But the ECDC recommended in a recent report that protection should be given against persons at risk of serious illness due to Covid-19.

That recommendation was noted by the Danish Health Authority in its statement on Friday.

“Care home residents were amongst the first to be vaccinated in Denmark and we know that the level of immunity falls over time. At the same time, we know that elderly people in particular can have a weakened response to vaccination,” Probst said in the statement.

“With that knowledge and given we are now seeing increasing infections at care homes, we will begin revaccination,” she added.

According to figures released by the Danish Health Authority, 96 percent of care home residents in Denmark are vaccinated against Covid-19. As such, most new infections at the home occur amongst vaccinated people.

Infection rates at care homes are described in the statement as “mildly increasing”, with cases detected at 15 homes in the country in the week commencing August 23rd.

Probst also said in the statement that she expects health sector and care home staff to be among those who will eventually be offered a third vaccine dose.

READ ALSO: Will people in Denmark who got the Johnson & Johnson jab get booster shots?

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