Visitors to Denmark to be allowed to buy Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines

Denmark is to release its unused Covid-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson for purchase by private companies, who will be able to offer them to individual customers including visitors from abroad.

Visitors to Denmark to be allowed to buy Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines
File photo: Pool/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Private companies are to be allowed to buy Denmark’s remaining Johnson & Johnson vaccines from September 14th, the Health Ministry confirmed in a statement.

The State Serum Institute, the national infectious disease agency, will process orders from companies who want to offer vaccinations to customers, the ministry said.

A similar model is already used for travel vaccines and other types of vaccination which are not included in the public health vaccination programme.

As such, it will be possible to purchase a Johnson & Johnson vaccination privately, subject to medical approval.

The arrangement will be open to anyone located in Denmark, the health ministry said in the statement. The ministry expects the primary target group for the vaccinations to be people with short term stays in Denmark who do not have access to vaccination through the country’s public health service.

Sailors, tourists and foreign-based Danes may be amongst those who make up that group, it said.

Although the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines were both removed from Denmark’s national vaccination programme earlier this year, they were made available to the public via an opt-in scheme run by private company Practio. Access to vaccination via this route required a consultation with a doctor, who could then approve the applicant for vaccination. The service was free to Denmark residents.

The opt-in scheme was withdrawn on September 1st with demand having dropped away as vaccination coverage reached a majority of the population.

Medical consultation will also be a requirement for private purchase of vaccines, the Ministry of Health states.

The State Serum Institute will sell the vaccines at cost price plus expenses incurred by the agency, according to the statement. Price for vaccination can be set by the companies which decide to offer the service.

Orders will be processed from September 14th. Only companies with the relevant medical staff and authorisations will be permitted to purchase supplies of the vaccine.

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

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Denmark suspends national Covid-19 vaccination programme

Denmark, which in February lifted all curbs related to the coronavirus pandemic, said on Tuesday it was suspending its general Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Denmark suspends national Covid-19 vaccination programme

Noting that the epidemic was under control and that vaccination levels were high, the Danish Health Authority said the country was in a “good position.”

“Therefore we are winding down the mass vaccination program against Covid-19,” said Bolette Søborg, director of the authority’s department of infectious diseases.

Around 81 percent of Denmark’s 5.8 million inhabitants have received two doses of the vaccine and 61.6 percent have also received a booster.

Denmark noted a drop in the number of new infections and stable hospitalisation rates.

While invitations for vaccinations would no longer be issued after May 15th, health officials anticipate that vaccinations would resume after the summer.

“We plan to reopen the vaccination programme in the autumn. This will be preceded by a thorough professional assessment of who and when to vaccinate and with which vaccines,” Søborg said.

As a wave of the Omicron variant hit the country last November, Denmark intensified its immunisation campaign, accelerating access to booster shots and offering a fourth dose from mid-January to the most vulnerable.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Denmark registers under 1,000 cases in a day for first time in 2022