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COVID-19 VACCINES

Covid-19 vaccination to be offered at Danish supermarkets

Businesses in Denmark, including large supermarket chains, are set to take part in the country’s final push to vaccinate its population against Covid-19.

Covid-19 vaccination to be offered at Danish supermarkets
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Selected stores belonging to the Bilka and Føtex supermarket chains will offer walk-up vaccinations on September 11th, the Danish Health Ministry confirmed in a statement on Monday.

Localised inequalities in vaccination rates include a lower level of vaccination amongst younger people, said the Health Authority director Søren Brostrøm.

“We want to ensure that the offer of vaccination is as accessible as possible so that, for example, you can get a jab while taking care of grocery shopping or other daily errands,” Brostrøm said.

“Meanwhile, the consumer sector has a lot of young staff, and this is where the sector can give young people the information they need to make their choices about vaccination,” he added.

Some companies are also set to offer vaccination on-site, while sports organisations DGI and DIF, and industry group SMVdanmark will inform members about their vaccination options.

Salling Group, the company which owns Bilka and Føtex, is to open pop-up vaccination centres at 16 of the 19 Bilka warehouses in Denmark. The service will not be available at the stores in Hjørring or Sønderborg or at the Fields mall in Copenhagen.

In Aarhus, the Føtex store at the City Vest shopping centre will offer vaccination.

A total of 75.4 percent of Denmark’s population have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to official figures. That corresponds to around 4.4 million people.

72.5 percent are fully vaccinated.

Health authorities in the country hope to push the first-dose vaccination rate up to 90 percent of every person who has received invitation by October 1st. That percentage is currently at around 86 percent.

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Covid-19: Danish research finds improved protection from updated vaccine

Denmark’s infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute (SSI) says that a second booster or “fourth dose” with an updated form of the Covid-19 vaccine will significantly improve protection against the virus.

Covid-19: Danish research finds improved protection from updated vaccine

The fourth dose will offer markedly better protection than if a person has only received a “third” dose or single booster jab, SSI said in a press statement.

SSI researchers, working with colleagues from the other Nordic countries, have analysed the effect of the additional booster jab with the vaccine, which has been updated in line with newer dominant subvariants of the coronavirus.

When the Danish population was first vaccinated against Covid-19, the vaccines were designed to offer protection against the original form of the virus, SSI writes.

But newer variants have made the original vaccines less effective. The updated vaccines are designed to have the best possible effect against both the original variant as well as the Omicron variant.

There are currently two versions of the updated vaccine. One is adapted towards the BA.1 Omicron subvariant, with another adapted to the BA.4-5 subvariant.

In the Nordic countries, the updated vaccines were offered during autumn 2022 to all persons over the age of 50 in Denmark and Sweden, over 60 in Finland and over 65 in Norway.

A fourth dose with the BA.1-updated version reduced the risk of hospitalisation with Covid-19 by 74 percent and the risk of death by 80 percent compared to the third dose, SSI found.

The BA.4-5 updated version reduced the risk of hospitalisation by 81 percent and the risk of death by 78 percent.

The latter of the two updated versions (BA.4-5) was found to reduce the risk of hospitalisation with Covid-19 by 32 percent compared to the BA-1 version.

“This is maybe not so surprising because BA.4-5 subvariants were dominant in autumn 2022,” SSI head of department Anders Hviid said in the statement.

“But I think we are among the first [countries] to be able to measure this based on the large quantities of data we have available from working across four countries,” he said.

The research was supported by the EU’s European Medicines Agency (EMA).

SSI notes that the frequency of hospitalisation and particularly death due to Covid-19 was very low after both the third and fourth doses of the vaccine.

The academic paper resulting from the study can be read in English here.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s health authority scraps isolation guidelines for Covid-19

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