Denmark to offer choice of Covid-19 vaccines in bid to convince hesitant

As-yet unvaccinated residents in Denmark are to be given free choice between the Covid-19 vaccines used in the country’s national inoculation programme.

Denmark to offer choice of Covid-19 vaccines in bid to convince hesitant
People receiving a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in Denmark will now be offered a free choice between the Pfizer and Moderna jabs. Photo: David W Cerny/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Health authorities hope that offering a choice will encourage more people to get the jab, as the country makes a final push to maximise its vaccination rate against the virus.

The decision was announced in a statement by the Danish Health Authority on Thursday.

“We know that some people have chosen not to get vaccinated because they want to decide which vaccine they have,” head of department Bolette Sørensen said in the statement.

The offer only applies to the two vaccines used in Denmark’s mainstream vaccination programme, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

People receiving a first dose of a vaccine will be offered the choice. Those who have already received one dose will be given a second dose of the same type as their first. That also applies to people who are given a third dose as a booster.

Denmark recently began giving third Covid-19 vaccine doses to people in care homes and select groups with weakened immune systems.

As of Thursday, Denmark has fully vaccinated 73.7 percent of its population or 4,317,990 people against Covid-19. 75.7 percent have received at least a first dose.

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

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Covid-19: Denmark decides against additional booster this winter

No additional booster vaccination against Covid-19 will be offered this winter, the Danish Health Authority confirmed on Wednesday.

Covid-19: Denmark decides against additional booster this winter

Together with an expert advisory group, the Health Authority has considered whether to offer vulnerable groups an extra booster vaccination against Covid-19 this winter.

People at higher risk of serious illness with the virus including those over the age of 85 will not be offered a further booster this winter, the authority has decided.

Denmark offered a booster in autumn 2022 to all people over the age of 50 and younger people considered vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The booster was backed up by data suggesting it improves protection against hospitalisation with Covid-19 by 74 percent, according to the Danish Health Authority.

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

Infection numbers in Denmark are currently low.

“We have the highest vaccine uptake in Europe and the vaccines have proved to be effective, including for the elderly and most vulnerable. We are in a good place in the Covid-19 epidemic. We can only be pleased about this,” head of section and consultant physician Kirstine Moll Harboe said in the statement.

The health authority nevertheless expects immunity and effectiveness of vaccines to fall over time and will therefore develop a plan for a new booster vaccination campaign to take place in the autumn.