Denmark scraps plan for national production of Covid-19 vaccines

Denmark scraps plan for national production of Covid-19 vaccines
File photo: Tim Kildeborg Jensen/Ritzau Scanpix
The Danish government no longer plans offer contracts for national production of existing Covid-19 vaccines.

The Ministry of Industry, Business and Industrial Affairs (Erhvervsministeriet) confirmed the decision in an email to medical and biotech industry media MedWatch.

Announcement of the move follows a recent decision to provide funding to Danish firm Bavarian Nordic, which is working on a potential new, Danish-developed Covid-19 vaccine. The Bavarian Nordic vaccine is currently at the trial stage.

“The overall assessment is that the best way to support future vaccine production in Denmark is to support the production of Bavarian Nordic’s candidate vaccine,” the ministry wrote to MedWatch.

“On this basis, there are no current plans to award a contract [for national production of existing vaccines, ed.],” it stated.

The national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute conducted earlier this year research to establish which companies could have interest in and means to fulfil such a contract.

Those companies included Danish firms Bavarian Nordic, AGC Biologics and AJ Vaccines along with foreign companies Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Sanofi.

Denmark’s government has previously stated its desire to ensure a domestic supply line for Covid-19 vaccines.

“Vaccines are a crucial weapon in controlling epidemics,” health minister Magnus Heunicke earlier said in a statement.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that we need to be in a stronger position on this area and it is therefore important that we look into the options for Danish vaccine production,” he continued.

“We must be sure that we are equipped and ready to quickly revaccinate the population so we can prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the future,” the minister said.

The government has, as such, decided to throw its weight behind the Bavarian Nordic project to achieve this aim.

Its agreement with the company provides funding of 800 million kroner in investment to the company, with the state to be supplied with Covid-19 vaccines in return.

The investment is contingent on successful development of the Bavarian Nordic vaccine.

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